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The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House is a treasure to Manhattan history, and is a glorified architectural masterpiece. Based on a “Beaux-Arts” architectural style, The U.S. Custom House was designed by architects, Cass Gilbert and Daniel Chester French. The building took 5 years to construct and finish and stands tall to this day in lower Manhattan on the tip of the island near Battery Park. With scenic views, and aged ambiance, The U.S. Customs house was originally a location built to house the duty collection operations for the port of New York.
The building has since now become the dwelling of the New York branch of the National Museum of the American Indian along with the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York. In fact, just recently, in 2012 the U.S. Custom House has added the National Archives to its repertoire.
The architecture of the building is usually what makes a tourist or visitor remember the location of the U.S. Custom House to begin with. Cass Gilbert, one of the leading architects behind the construction of the building also designed the Woolworth Building, which is one of the oldest skyscrapers in the United States.
The extensive detail that can be seen on the outside of the building is easy to classify as a Beaux-Arts type of architecture. Beaux-Arts style architecture is a lot more involved, and involves characteristics that focus on sculptural decoration, conservative modern lines, with an impressionistic finish and realism. The sculptures on the outside of the building can be accredited to Daniel Chester French, who was the amazing American sculptor that created the majestic image you’ll see in Washington, D.C. that is the seated Abraham Lincoln within the Lincoln Memorial.
The U.S. Custom house holds such rich historical matter, that it is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places for both interior and exterior spaces. The building is also one of the earliest designations of the New York city Landmarks Preservation Commission.
When you’re in Manhattan, and looking for a way to visit The U.S. Custom Building, you can walk by with a Licensed Tour Guide on the New York City See It All! Tour and The New York See It All Premium tour with OnBoard Sightseeing tours in New York City! This location is also ideal if you’re looking to do a Private Tour based on architecture or U.S. Sculptors and Architects.
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