Historic Custom House Participates In Open House New York Weekend Events

News Release
Northeast and Caribbean Region

October 6, 2009

Historic Custom House Participates In Open House New York Weekend Events

NEW YORK CITY – The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House’s magnificent, wood paneled, Collector’s Suite will be one of the many architectural gems open for public viewing during this year’s Open House New York Weekend, October 10 and 11.  Although a large portion of the building, including the Grand Rotunda and main entry hall are normally available to visitors at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, located in the building, the Collector’s Suite doors are usually closed. 

To help celebrate Open House weekend, the Smithsonian is offering daily tours highlighting the architectural and historical details of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House.  These tours offer a chance to peek back in time to the beginning of New York as the Dutch settlement New Amsterdam and learn about the indigenous peoples who still inhabit the areas.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn more about the building’s construction, character, special features, and historic relevancies. 

In addition, the National Archives is sponsoring an ongoing discovery session, running from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, about records that tell the story of the U.S. Custom service, the nation's oldest federal agency.  Featured documents include architectural drawings and details of the U.S. Custom House, details of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Collector's Suite, and others rich with maritime history, from the holdings of the National Archives.  This will also be available in the Collector’s Suite. 

Under the management and stewardship of the U.S. General Services Administration, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House is one of the most significant historic buildings in the agency’s national inventory.  Opened in 1907, this beaux-arts treasure is a National Historic Landmark.  It was designed by renowned architect Cass Gilbert and is replete with interior and exterior features and art that add to its grandeur.  The building is an icon of maritime commerce that truly reflects its era in American history.

GSA places great importance on its historic preservation responsibilities and currently holds over 480 historic federal buildings in public trust.  These historic structures are the nation’s public buildings legacy.  GSA is committed to helping develop viable strategies for them and to protect, enhance and use government-owned historic buildings, as well as to increase public access to these national treasures. 

More information about Open House New York weekend is available at www.ohny.org, or by calling (212) 991-OHNY

Directions to Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, One Bowling Green, New York City

The Custom House is located at One Bowling Green, at the southern tip of Manhattan. 

By Subway:                                                       By Bus:
4 or 5 to Bowling Green                                     M1 to South Ferry
1 to South Ferry                                                M6 and M15 to South Ferry
R and W to Whitehall Street
M, J, and Z to Broad St.

Please allow extra time to enter through building security. 


Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars and $24 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 213,000 vehicles.

GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 480 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services.

GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.


Last Reviewed 2016-04-08