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United States Custom House

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 31 March 2020 in Architecture and Portfolio.

Construction began on the U.S. Custom House in 1853, but was interrupted in 1859 due to costs and the possibility of South Carolina's secession from the Union. After the Civil War, construction was restarted in 1870 and completed in 1879. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 9, 1974.

Land was purchased at Fitzsimons' Wharf at East Bay and Market. Construction started in 1853. Since the location was marshy, 7,000 piles that were 40 ft long were driven into the sand and were cut off at grade. A grillage or network of timber was laid. and a thick bed of concrete was constructed for the foundation. The granite walls of the basement were finished by 1855. After the marble-faced walls were erected, the columns were begun in 1858.

In 1859, there was increasing concern in Congress over the possible secession of South Carolina and the costs of construction. Representative John Letcher from Virginia called for a cessation of construction. Representative William Porcher Miles defended the construction with little enthusiasm. No funds were appropriated to continue construction in 1859. With the possibility of war, Congress only appropriated funds for protecting the construction from rain.

During the war, the building was damaged by shelling. In 1870, construction resumed. The original marble came from Hastings, New York. Because that quarry was abandoned, new marble was obtained from Tuckahoe, New Jersey. Fluted Corinthian columns surround the iron second floor gallery. The gallery is ornamented with fluted pilasters.

The windows are rectangular with pediments. The portico entrance doors are also pedimented. The building was topped with an entablature with architrave and an unadorned frieze with a dentiled cornice. The building has a low roof with an open balustrade.

Construction was completed in 1879. The total cost of construction was about $2,806,000.

Photo captured October 9, 2019.

NIKON D7000 1/180 second F/6.7 ISO 200 27 mm (35mm equiv.)

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Spotlight Images

Martine Girard from Brest, France

Superbe bâtiment avec ces colonnes ouvragées.

31 Mar 2020 5:24am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

Great house and interesting history

31 Mar 2020 5:47am

By Marie from Entre By Marie et Montagnes, France

Beautiful framing Steven on this superb House.

31 Mar 2020 5:47am

jpla from Anjou, France

Un bâtiment qui a une belle histoire

31 Mar 2020 7:41am

Existence Artistique from Angers, France


31 Mar 2020 8:33am

Shaun from Massachusetts, United States

A superb image of this great building Steven. 5*

31 Mar 2020 8:39am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

I wonder what it is about Greek Temple architecture that makes it such a favourite with Government buildings and banks :) Nicely captured

31 Mar 2020 8:47am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

A great composition with excellent light and detail.

31 Mar 2020 8:47am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

very beautiful house

31 Mar 2020 9:43am

Ralf Kesper from Fröndenberg, Germany

Nice classical facade!

31 Mar 2020 11:24am

Don from Spokane, United States

A fine picture of this famous place. Reading the history, it's a wonder it survived.

31 Mar 2020 12:05pm

beach from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Nice shot

31 Mar 2020 12:49pm

Jean-Louis Guianvarc'h from Valence d'Albigeois, France

Un bâtiment superbement mis en image!

31 Mar 2020 1:40pm

Rose from United States

It sure has stood the test of time. This photo should be on a postcard.

31 Mar 2020 2:36pm

Devi from Chennai, India

LOvely piece of Architecture... Thank you for the History:)))))

31 Mar 2020 2:42pm

Remus from Portugal

The entrance is quite majestic and the building is well maintained.

31 Mar 2020 2:44pm

tataray from Charentes-Poitou, France

Un bâtiment superbement pris en photo Steven.
Et toujours accompagné d'explications très attrayantes.

31 Mar 2020 3:10pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Beautifully composed view.

31 Mar 2020 3:19pm

Libouton Martine from Bousval, Belgium

Un très beau bâtiment !

31 Mar 2020 3:46pm

willy from Belgium

un bel édifice classique avec une histoire Steven

une très belle prise


31 Mar 2020 4:15pm

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Quelle bâtisse et cadrage ce colonne cette architecture fantastique
Belle soirée

31 Mar 2020 4:17pm

Dreams come true from Utrecht, Netherlands

A special and fantastic composition from this building .
Thanks for the interesting story.

31 Mar 2020 4:27pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Splendid composition .

31 Mar 2020 5:19pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

such beautiful frame, colors & treatment!
A M A Z I N G !!!!

31 Mar 2020 6:00pm

lisl from Bath, United Kingdom

You certainly have some grand buildings where you live, Steven

31 Mar 2020 6:44pm

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

This is a magnificent building. It has quite a history. A beautiful composition.

31 Mar 2020 6:53pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A lovely capture of this beautiful old building.

31 Mar 2020 8:55pm

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

ah, I thought you had moved up the coast. Fine shot of this elegant building.

1 Apr 2020 12:11am

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Nice framing with the tree and fence.

1 Apr 2020 1:05am

jeanmadis from Chonburi, Thailand

Une architecture remarquable !
Merci pour les informations jointes concernant cette construction, c'est toujours intéressant de savoir.

1 Apr 2020 3:19am

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

such a painterly appeal

1 Apr 2020 9:47pm

The Yum List from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

That tree on the left looks perfect for climbing.

6 Apr 2020 5:30am

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful building and lovely trees around. Nicely framed. :)

2 May 2020 7:29pm