US Custom House
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This granite palace pays homage to the mighty seaport status of the city. A masterpiece of the Beaux Arts tradition, the US Custom House holds a selection of murals and sculpture reflecting its dual role as duty collections building and a success of both fine arts and architecture.
Built between 1902 and 1907, The Alexander Hamilton US Custom House is erected to perform duty collections for the port of New York. But aside from being a thumbprint of New York's great seaport life, it is the badge of excellence of numerous artists and sculptors of its time led by main designer Cass Gilbert. Remarkable are the 44 Ionic columns standing guard, along with sculptures laden with thick symbolism. Daniel Chester French's depiction of the four continents tops the list: Seated women representing a forward-looking America, a Europe of a glorious past, an Asia of much contemplation, and an Africa still in slumber. There are also towering sculptures paying tribute to great seafaring nations above the main cornice. The stunning rotunda—made of fine marble and embellished with Reginald Marsh murals depicting ship life—and the two-story entry portico are also a visual feast. Since 1994, the US Custom House has also begun housing the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, making the structure a compelling attraction for the ultimate art and cultural lover.How to get there
By subway: Bowling GreenOpening days
Open dailyOpening hours
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