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Custom House

Photo: Courtesy of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Custom House

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Saturday 14 October, 11.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday 15 October, 12.00pm – 5.00pm

The Custom House in Dublin is regarded as one of the jewels in the city’s architectural crown. A masterpiece of European Neo-Classicism it took ten years to build and was completed in 1791, costing the then considerable sum of £200,000. James Gandon had been chosen by John Beresford, Chief Revenue Commissioner and a small coterie of Irish ascendency, who were then in the process of enhancing the streets and public spaces of Dublin to design the Custom House. The sculptures which are located in various parts of the building were by the famous Irish sculptor Edward Smyth. Initially the building was exclusively the headquarters of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise; however by the beginning of the twentieth century, the dominant role of the Custom House was in relation to local government. The building was burnt to the ground on 25th of May, 1921 during the Irish War of Independence, restoration work was completed by 1928 and a second programme of restoration began in the 1980’s and completed in 1991.

First-come basis: Just turn up and look out for Open House Dublin volunteers. Food and liquids not allowed in the building

Designed by: James Gandon
Building Date: 1791
Location: Custom House Quay, Dublin 1

People like you make Open House Dublin possible!

Open House Dublin is presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF): a non-profit arts organisation that communicates the value of architecture.

The IAF presents Open House Dublin each year as just one part of a rich and unique offering. Our year-round programme includes exhibitions, talks, film screenings, symposia, competitions, publications, school and community workshops. You can help to secure our future by becoming an IAF member, or simply by donating directly.

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Members enjoy perks which include: beating the OHD queues, private tours, partner discounts; and limited-edition IAF publications and prints. Architects can also claim structured CPD at all IAF events.