U.S. Customs House


U.S. Customs House

Two. U.S. Customs House

200 East Bay Street (French Quarter)
CharlestonSC  29401
(843) 579-6500

Hours:  Not open to the public

The U.S. Customs House is a grand building overlooking the East Bay Street and the harbor. The Custom House is bulit in the Roman Corinthian order. The building measures 259 feet on its east-west axis and 152 feet on its north-south axis.


Marble is used throughout the building and is used to highlight in detail the office fireplaces. The interior of the building revolves around a two-story center room, called the Business Room.Fourteen Corinthian columns support its second floor gallery, and most offices open onto this room. The ceiling is ornamented with artificial sky lights, a depiction of the American flag and other patriotic symbols, and stenciled classical motifs.

Construction began in 1853, but was interrupted in 1859 due to costs and the possibility of South Carolina's secession from the Union. The U.S. Custom House was completed in 1879 and has been used ever since as the United States Custom House.