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Custom House and Post Office
Photo courtesy of the DC SHPO

The building that houses the Custom House and Post Office of Georgetown was designed by Ammi B. Young, the Supervising Architect of the Treasury from 1852 to 1862. The Custom House and Post Office is one of a number of buildings that Young designed for the Treasury Department. Georgetown was established as a port of entry to the United States by an act of Congress approved March 22, 1779. By 1856 the problem arose of where to build a permanent custom house for the District. Congress appropriated money to build a Custom House in Georgetown. Completed in 1858, the building housed a post office on its first floor and custom house and Georgetown city offices on its second floor. The basement was used for storage of goods awaiting inspection. In 1864 Senate Bill #210 was introduced, proposing the abolishment of Georgetown as the port of entry and making the official port Washington City. The mayor of Georgetown led a violent fight against the bill, charging that Congress was attempting to destroy his city. He convinced Congress, but when Georgetown was absorbed into the District of Columbia, the name of the port was officially changed to Washington. In 1967, the Custom House moved out of its second floor space. The post office still occupies the first floor.

The Custom House and Post Office is located at 1221 31st St., NW. It is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Metro stop: Foggy Bottom


 

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