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This is Dublin finest public building. It was designed by James Gandon and completed in 1791. The main front, facing the river, is made up of pavilions at each end, joined by arcades to a central portico of four Doric columns. From the centre rises a superbly graceful dome, surmounted by a figure of hope.
Other exterior decoration includes a symbolic alto-rilievo in the tympanum, the arms or Ireland (surmounting the pavilions), and a series of allegoriacal heads representing the Atlantic Ocean and thirteen Irish rivers. The north front's portico has also four columns, with statues on the entablature representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The east and west fronts are similar in design, but less ornate. The Custom House was burned to a shell in 1921 but it was restored, and the present building retains all the beauty of the original.