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1861 U.S. Custom House (U.S. Custom House, Post Office, and Courthouse)
When this graceful, neo-Palladian building was constructed, it lay outside Galveston's central business district. The first civil building erected by the federal government in Texas, the Custom House was the subject of protracted controversy, due to the manipulations of Charles B. Cluskey, formerly Savannah's most gifted neoclassical architect, who obtained the contract to build Ammi B. Young's design in 1857, then spent four years trying to obtain congressional authorization to redesign it himself. The ironic finale to this intrigue was that the Boston builders who finally constructed the building did so in an astounding four and a half months in 1861, rushing to complete it (and get paid) before Texas seceded from the Union. Since 1999, it has been occupied by offices of the Galveston Historical Foundation.
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