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Dec. 9, 2017: New York's Opulent Customs House


Gumbo has been to the handsome New York City Customs House in a previous blog, but without a chance to see the Collector's Room, usually open only for special occasions. Its incredible ceiling, above, is only a piece of the care that  was lavished on a space whose only purpose was to impress.

The building, designed by Cass Gilbert, with statuary by Daniel Chester French and murals by Reginald Marsh, opened in 1909 (the Marsh murals were added later). It was headquarters for Customs and its regional chief, the Collector of the Port of New York. To the right of the fireplace is the door to his real 'working' office. This room contained a ceremonial desk where he could sit to impress visitors.


Gilbert assigned the decoration of the Collector's Room, floor to ceiling, to the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Everything you see here is Tiffany work, including the beautiful carved wood panels.



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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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