This Magnificent Historic Building In Downtown Portland Has Been Restored To Full 1800’s Beauty
The United State Custom House in Portland, Maine is located along Fore Street, an address that is typically synonymous with bars and nightlife. The Custom House stands tall and stately on the harborside of the cobblestone street as a magnificent reminder of Portland's history and heritage.
The elaborate stone building has been closed to the public since 2001, except for a few scheduled guided tours throughout the year. The space is occasionally loaned to private groups for events and meetings, but otherwise, the historic space is carefully protected.
According to the U.S. General Services Administration, the Custom House in Portland, Maine was the hub of one of the most important ports in the country.
Located near Portland's waterfront, the U.S. Custom House is a testament to the city's maritime history. It was built to accommodate the city's growing customs business, which by 1866, was collecting $900,000 annually in customs duties -- making Portland one of the most significant seaports in the country.
The building has experienced an interesting evolution since the initial construction. In the early 1980s, the basement was converted into dormitories for the U.S. Coast Guard. Full restoration of the interior and the front facade occurred through the late 1990s and 2000s.
You can experience the gorgeous architecture and learn more about its history on a 30-minute guided tour. There are a few dates remaining through 2017.