United States Custom House


1 Bowling Green, New York, NY, United States

Cass Gilbert

BUILT 1909

RESTORED BY Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects



Main (second) floor consisting of:
● Entrance vestibule
● Lobby with elevator halls
● Cashier’s office (Room 217)
● Regional Commissioner of Customs’ office (Room 219-220)
● Manager’s Office (Room 218)
● Hall connecting the lobby and the rotunda
● Rotunda up to and including the skylight
● Stairhall at the south end of the rotunda
● Spiral staircases to the eastern and western ends of the lobby extending from the first floor to the seventh floor including the stair landings at each floor
The mezzanine (third) floor interior consisting of:
● Elevator halls above the lobby
● Hallway above the main floor offices
Fixtures and components of these spaces, including but not limited to, all lighting fixtures, wall and ceiling surfaces, floor surfaces, doors, transom grilles, elevator doors and transom grilles, window grilles, metal grilles over ventilation ducts, murals, attached clocks, freestanding panelled partitions, railings and attached counters and sign boards


Excerpt from Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report:

“The Commission further finds that, among its important qualities, the United States Custom House Interior is one of the finest examples of government architecture in the United States; that it was designed by noted architect Cass Gilbert between 1905 and 1909; that the Custom House was built to symbolize artistically the unique position which the Custom Service in New York held in the eyes of the nation and the world; that the design borrowed themes from two earlier custom houses on Wall Street; that the interior is an important example of comprehensive Beaux-Arts decorative planning; that the architect employed the services of such nationally known artisans as painter Elmer E. Garnsey, builder Rafael Guastavino and the Tiffany Studios, as decorators to create an interior design to rival the majesty of his exterior; that murals by Reginald Marsh of New York harbor on the dome of the Rotunda have come significant landmark reminders of the city during the 1930s; and that the interior continues to create a strong visual impression on the users of and visitors to the building.”

LPC Designation Reports

Photographs by Larry Lederman © All rights reserved