Custom House History

Good Essays
The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs house is one of New York City’s important historical landmarks. The U.S. Customs House was built in 1902-1907 near the port of New York and its job was to collect customs from imported goods (New York Architecture 2015). Before income tax was being developed in 1916, customs was the greatest source of income for our government (NMAI 2015). “It is located near the southern tip of Manhattan, next to Battery Park (New York Architecture 2015).” The building is actually on the site of where Fort Amsterdam used to be located.
The federal government used to rent buildings which were previously constructed (New York Architecture). “In the early 19th century, however, the federal government began expanding and constructing
…show more content…
In August 1912, Congress repealed the Tarsney Act. Only about 30 of 400 building ended up being developed under the Tarnsey Act (NPS). In the 1940’s, President Truman put together a commission to improve the ways in which federal agencies were given space to work. The commission started by Truman led to the creation of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in 1949 (NPS). The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs was being used heavily until the 1970’s. The Customs Service moved to the World Trade Center in 1973 (NMAI 2015). In 1976, Congress passed a law that encouraged the GSA to begin using space in older federal buildings which were not used as often (NPS). The building was put on the list in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and later was listed a National Historic Landmark in 1976 (GSA). In 1979 New York City 's Landmarks Preservation Commission made outside and inside of the customs house spaces into a city landmark (GSA). This would save the customs house from being demolished.
The Customs House was an example of one buildings which had its space repurposed and given new use after 1976 by the GSA (GSA). In 1979 Congress gave $26,500,000 to restore and repair the customs house. The project started in 1983 and was finished by 1994 (GSA). “Today, the building is being used by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the National Archives, and the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution) (New York Architecture
…show more content…
Customs house is important to American politics because it is an example of the evolving needs and wants of a government and its people. As mentioned earlier, the Tarsney Act shows how people wanted private architects to begin constructing federal buildings because it was cheaper and better looking. The short lived Tarsney act shows how our governments needs and legislation changes over time. The buildings original purpose was to expand the customs service. Over time, the customs house was almost slated for destruction because it was no longer needed. After the building was restored because of the GSA and new laws, the building had a new purpose (NMAI 2015). In present day, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House is home to multiple federal agencies. These agencies are the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the U.S. Customs and Border

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The legacy of immigration and naturalization administration spans more than 100 years (Our history, 2011). Laws passed in the 1880’s implemented three elements to our immigration policies: “(a) restrictions based on personal characteristics, (b) restrictions based on national origin, (c) protection of American labor” (Laque, 2010, p. 5). When the federal government took over immigration in 1891 the Office of Superintendent of Immigration was part of the Treasury Department (Our history, 2011). Through the years the Office of Superintendent became the Bureau of Immigration under Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903, then Naturalization Service in 1906 (Our history, 2011). In subsequent years it bounced from agency to agency, ultimately being…

    • 1269 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    At the Capitol building every year there is a naturalization ceremony during where a new group of immigrants become Americans, continuing a process begun in the building nearly 300 years ago. At the ceremony people from around the world come to Williamsburg at the Capitol building to become citizens of America. The neutralization is held at the Capitol building because it is important for immigrants to learn about how our country was developed and where it was established. Also, it was where Patrick Henry delivered his famous Caesar-Brutus speech against the Stamp Act on May 29, 1765. A reason why the Capitol building should get a commemorative coin is because the other buildings that were nominated didn’t play as an important role in developing our…

    • 588 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The majority of the U.S throughout the 1800’s was European decent but most were becoming U.S citizens as well. “In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison designated Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty, as a federal immigration station” ("U.S. Immigration,” 2009). This was the first time the federal government stepped in and started to control the immigration entry for the northern states ("U.S. Immigration,” 2009). The flooding of the northeastern region had become a problem and many started to move west of the Appalachian Mountains. “During the mid-1800s, a significant number of Asian immigrants settled in the United States.…

    • 929 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    On September 1st, 2012 it had it’s 75th anniversary; today it has been standing for a little over seventy-nine years. The WSA was a piece of New Deal Legislation that reflected the government 's recognition of sufficient housing as a critical societal demand. Landlords and the real estate industry started to believe that the WSA would be more beneficial to cities than smaller commonality. Senator Robert Wagner of New York believed the exact opposite, he was the driving force behind the WSA. Wagner introduced public housing bills in three consecutive congresses; 1934, 1935, and 1936.…

    • 1019 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ellis Isle Research Paper

    • 581 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Ellis Isle was opened to the public on a limited basis between 1976 and 1984. Starting in 1984, Ellis Isle underwent a major restoration, the largest historic restoration in U.S. history. The $160 million dollar project was funded by donations made to The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Isle Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the National Park Service. The Main Building was reopened to the public on September 10, 1990, as the Ellis Isle Immigration Museum. The…

    • 581 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Merck Case Study

    • 1464 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In the year of 1891, Mr. George Merck set up the Merck & Co Company in New York City when he migrated to United States. Due to the family partnership, Merck & Co Company was named as Merck KGaA. In 1917, Merck & Co Company was confiscated due to the national wartime policy. However, the company was re-established later. This time round, Merck and Co Company became an independent American company.…

    • 1464 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Affordable Housing History

    • 2003 Words
    • 9 Pages

    History The need to provide a safe and suitable housing has been problematic since the 1800s in the United States. The tenement reform was an early intervention by the local government before the federal government got involved in 1937. Congress passed the Wagner-steagall housing Act, which established the current federal housing program. For the past years, public housing authorities having been trying to attain the level of success mixed income housing authorities pursue today? The beginning of mixed income housing was the 1970s with a federal program and a local jurisdiction that initiated inclusionary zoning.…

    • 2003 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Looking at the composition of the board for Metropolitan Museum of Art, they were a self-made industrialist class—businessmen, bankers, and merchants of the city. They were the reformer class with progressive mindset, and the class belonged to the New York Historical Society, the Manhattan club, the Century club, and the Union League Club after the American Civil War (Tomkins Calvin, 1989, 117; Howe Winifred, 1914, p103). The four fifths of the member were belonging to the Century Club, and two thirds were belonging to the Union League (McCarthy, 1991, p117). These people who dreamed about the liberal social reform considered that art museums and schools would be able to contribute to control the confusion of society and community such as the labor movement in American society, ethnic rebellion, and countless immigrants being threat to the social order of the city in the…

    • 983 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Fair Lending Case Summary

    • 2018 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Prior to the 1970s, discriminatory lending practices became hidden produces in central cities across the nation. The origins of fair lending litigation can be traced back to a 1976 redlining case in Oakley, Cincinnati. It was not until 1968, when the Fair Housing Act and other federal provisions regarding discrimination became law binding. A precedent regarding the application and interpretation of the anti-discrimination provisions was waiting to be set for local neighborhoods in the United States. Robert Laufman, a leading Cincinnati civil rights attorney, would be the one to set such a precedent by brining the first fair lending case to the federal courtroom.…

    • 2018 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Fifty-five emissaries from all the states except Rhode Island met in a small brick statehouse that facilitated conversations that led to eventual compromises. With George Washington as chairman of the “demigods” compromises were made to achieve their goal of having a firm, dignified, and respected government. Instead of rewriting the Articles of Confederation which is what Congress suggested, the committee scrapped the Articles and started with a clean slate of paper for the Constitution. After intensive debate which took place over the summer, a plan was written that established three branches of national government. These branches of the government are known as the executive, legislative and judicial branches.…

    • 951 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays