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Insights and Artifacts
Fall 2005

Norfolk Then and Now: The U.S. Customhouse

The Customhouse, Norfolk The Customhouse, Norfolk

The Customhouse, headquarters for the Collector of Customs for the District of Norfolk and Portsmouth, was built in 1858-1859. The design, based on a Roman temple, came from the drawing board of Ammi B. Young who served as the Supervising Architect for the U. S. Government from 1852 to 1860. The building, located at the intersection of Main and Granby Streets, was used as a dungeon by Federal troops during the occupation of Norfolk during the Civil War. The fact that the building looks much the same as it did eighty years ago is a tribute to those who oversaw its renovation in the 1990’s.

Photo courtesy of Kern Library


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