About Custom House Tower
The Custom House Tower is a skyscraper in McKinley Square, in the Financial District neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. Construction began in the mid 19th century; the tower was added in the 1910s. Standing at 496 feet (151 m) tall, the tower is currently Boston's 17th-tallest building. The tower is part of the Custom House District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The site was purchased on September 13, 1837. Construction of a custom house was authorized by U.S. President Andrew Jackson. When it was completed in 1849, it cost about $1,076,000, in contemporary U.S. currency, including the site, foundations, etc. Ammi Burnham Young entered an 1837 competition to design the Boston Custom House, and won with his neoclassical design. This building was a cruciform (cross-shaped) Greek Revival structure, combining a Greek Doric portico with a Roman dome, resembled a four-faced Greek temple topped with a dome. It had 36 fluted Doric columns, each carved from a single piece of granite from Quincy, Massachusetts; each weighed 42 tons (37 metric tons) and cost about $5,200.