United States Custom House – Charleston
* 200 E Bay St * Charleston * SC * 29401 * (843) 579-6500 *
Standing tall along the downtown East Bay street, the harbor, and waterfront park in Charleston, South Carolina is the iconic United States Custom House. A fine example of a age-old public building telling tales about Charleston’s once thriving port culture. It was designed with the Roman Corinthian order cruciform building structure is monumental in scale measuring over 259 feet east-west, and 152 feet north-south, constructed of marble, stone, and granite. Its interior revolves around a marble two-story center room called “The Business Room” and its second floor gallery is supported by 14 Corinthian columns into which most offices open up to. Ornamental ceiling with artificial skylights, the American flag, and other classical patriotic motifs and symbols. The site was built between East bay and the Cooper River on land that Congress purchased in 1849. This location was first the site of Craven’s Bastion, a colonial era fortification. It was designed by Charleston architect Edward C. Jones and Edward Brickell White. During the Civil War, the building was left unfinished and left suspended until 1870 when plans were set into motion to work on the original design. It was completed in 1879 and has been used ever since as a United States Custom House. It is not opened for viewing to the public. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 9, 1974.
- References/Recommended Reading:
- NPS.GOV: Charleston United States Custom House. http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/charleston/usc.htm. Website referenced May 2, 2013.
- Wikipedia: Charleston Custom House. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Custom_House_(Charleston,_South_Carolina). Website referenced May 2, 2013.