Formal reopening of Customhouse set

Maryland Watch

April 12, 1997

The historic Baltimore Customhouse officially reopens Monday with a ceremony marking a completed restoration and the return of U.S. Customs Service's port of Baltimore office to renovated space.

More than 100 Customs employees, including enforcement agents, moved back to the Customhouse, at 40 S. Gay St., in December, after working out of 200 St. Paul Place since 1992. The office handles state exports from the port and from Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Customhouse, completed in 1907, was dedicated as one of 12 of America's Historic Customhouses in 1972.

The four-year overhaul restored portions of the building to their original appearance, and updated offices and building systems. The work returned original color schemes and stenciled patterns to hallways, reopened a lobby atrium, and re-created cast-iron railings and grill work.

The showpiece Call Room has one of the nation's largest ceiling murals, depicting ships entering the harbor, and paintings showing the evolution of sailing and steam vessels. The mural's artist, Francis David Millet, died on the Titanic.

Pub Date: 4/12/97

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