U.S. Custom House
New Bedford , MA
Date of Service: 2008 - Ongoing
Project Type: Institutional & Historical
Construction Cost: $3 Million
New Bedford was the leading whaling port in Massachusetts and became the world capital of the whaling industry for a great part of the 19th c. In response to the importance of New Bedford as a port city, the U.S. Congress constructed the Custom House in the Greek Revival style by Robert Mills and construction began in 1834. The structure has granite-faced masonry-bearing walls with floors supported by brick groin-vaults and a hipped roof carried by zinc coated trusses. Original interior features include a groin vaulted ceiling, molded wood service counters, wainscoting, wide baseboards and stone treads on the main stair.
The Custom House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest continuously operated U.S. Custom House in the Nation. The current renovation and preservation of this project will integrate the historic significance with current user needs. This project is part of the Design Excellence program instituted by the GSA and stresses creativity using architect/engineer design with private-sector peers to provide feedback. LEED-EB certification is a goal.
Project Information Sheet (PDF)