Old Post Office and Customs House, Niagara Falls

Old Post Office and Customs House, Niagara Falls

The Old Post Office and Customs House in Niagara Falls is an impressive three-storey Romanesque Revival building that was constructed by Thomas Fuller in 1885. This building is made of limestone and exhibits a colossal presence at the corner of Park Street and Zimmerman Avenue. The building features a mansard roof with center gables on each facade and massive round-headed archways on a corner entrance that effectively creates a dual stairway.

The building is associated with Thomas Fuller, the government architect who designed the first Parliament buildings in Ottawa. The original “Zimmerman” post office, built by Samuel Zimmerman, was located on the corner of Clifton Avenue and Bridge Street, but moved in 1885 to the new Dominion Government Building. The building's dignified presence continues to impress and is a reminder of the prosperous downtown business district of the former Village of Elgin.

Sharing the building was the Customs House, which occupied the second floor. However, a furnace explosion in 1927 nearly destroyed the edifice. After temporarily relocating the services, the old building was enlarged and remodeled, and it functioned solely as a customs office.

The exterior of the building is very impressive for its time of construction and is an excellent example of many typical post offices and custom houses designed around this time by federal government architects. The building's truncated hip roof with cross gables and the quoining at all corners contribute to the commanding presence of the building. The main entrance is recessed, and the corner of the building has two magnificent round-headed arches supported by a limestone pillar with a Corinthian entablature.

The Old Post Office and Customs House is valuable to the landscape of the downtown because it is one of many heritage properties deemed significant to the development of the downtown and the wider community. The building is similar to surrounding structures in its size and age and functioned as a significant location for communication and government operations.

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Old Post Office and Customs House on Map

Sight Name: Old Post Office and Customs House
Sight Location: Niagara Falls, Canada (See walking tours in Niagara Falls)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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