Public building on Alfred Street at Circular Quay where shipping was cleared and goods passing through the port of Sydney were taxed and cleared for sale or export. A number of Customs House buildings have stood on the site since since 1845 and it was designed and redesigned by three government architects Mortimer Lewis, James Barnet and Walter Liberty Vernon. 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 the building was closed as a customs departments and in 1994 was leased to the City of Sydney who refurbished the building for use as a multipurpose commercial space that opened 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.