Old Customhouse

The Old Customhouse is an Spanish Colonial style adobe structure built around 1827 by the Mexican government in the Pueblo de Monterey, Alta California, in present day Monterey County in the U.S. state of California. The Customhouse is the state's first designated California Historical Landmark.


In 1821 New Spain—Mexico won independence from Spain, in the Mexican War of Independence, and for nearly 25 years Monterey was in the Mexican Territory of Alta California. Under Mexican rule the trade restrictions were lifted and coastal ports were opened to foreign trade. This drew in trade from British, American, and South American traders.

To collect customs duties (tax monies) at the Monterey Bay port, the Mexican government built the Customhouse, making it the oldest government building in present day California. On July 7, 1846, during the Mexican-American war, Commodore John Drake Sloat raised the American Flag, declaring California part of the United States.


The Mexican Customhouse was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. It is part of the larger Monterey State Historic Park, itself a National Historic Landmark District along with the nearby Larkin House.

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