Public building where shipping was cleared and goods passing through the port of Sydney were taxed and cleared for sale or export. When the port was busy the House was crowded and noisy, the scene of raised tempers, delays and disputed dealings. It was surrounded by public houses, shipping companies and general maritime activities. In 1990 it closed as a customs departments. In 1994 it was leased to the City of Sydney who refurbished the building for use as a multipurpose commercial space in 1995. In 2005 Customs House reopened as the headquarters of the City of Sydney Library and function centre. In April 2019 the City of Sydney purchased the building from the Federal Government.