THE CUSTOM HOUSE
The Greek Reivival style of the Custom House, completed in 1847, reflected both contemporary fashion and the building's lofty purpose. The customs offices oversaw the sovereign interests of a young state and nation by supervising and taxing cargo.
The Custom House was built so close to the water that the bowsprits of arriving ships could touch it, though the shoreline has since moved.
Around 1913, the federal government built a 433-foot tower to enlarge the Custom House. For nearly a half century the tower dominated Boston’s skyline, while, ironically, waterfront activity and port services declined.
Finally, in the 1960s, investment returned to Boston and new skyscrapers began to form the modern skyline. Boston’s deserted wharves came back to life. Old warehouses and new buildings along the waterfront accommodated apartments, hotels, and cultural activities.
In 1995, after undergoing other changes of use, the Custom House was converted to timeshare apartments.