Old Customs House is an abandoned historic building located on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bang Rak District of Bangkok, Thailand. It was built in 1888 and designed in neoclassical style by the Italian architect Joachim Grassi, who resided many years in Siam and was responsible for designing a large number of buildings in Bangkok.
Old Customs House Bangkok had two wings, occupying the most of the space of the site. Enhancing the landscape, the building façade was featured by the arched windows flanked by the lower rectangular openings, adorned with porticos and pediments. The body of the building was built with bricks, plastered and whitewashed; the other parts such as the staircases, the floors, the ceilings and the windows were fabricated with teak wood. The columns were transformed into the pilasters as to give the appearance of a supporting column and as an extent of the wall for ornamental function.
The Old Customs House had a few decades of life before shuttering its doors. In 1949 this building was the custom house was shifted to Khlong Toey and building was was transformed into Bang Rak Fire Station, which operated for 60 years before the station moved to a new location.
In 2005, a developer named Natural Park was given a 30-year contract from the Treasury Department to renovate Customs House and manage it as a fancy hotel. However, in the ten years since, no development had taken place, due to difficulties in relocating the previous tenants.
The Old Customs House in Bangkok has not been repaired, it is very dilapidated, and there were residents. Some of the walls have peeled off, revealing red bricks.
The residents finally moved out in early 2016, and the Treasury Department confirmed in 2017 that the project would go ahead under the U City company, as Natural Park was now known following restructuring. U City plans to spend 3 billion baht (US$94 million) restoring and developing the property as a luxury hotel, slated to be completed by 2025.
How To Get to the Old Customs House
It would be fairly easy to get to the Old Customs House in a taxi by telling them Charoen Krung Soi 36 (ซอยเจริญกรุง 36). You can also take the BTS to Saphan Taksin station by the river and walk about a kilometer along Charoen Krung Road until you get to Soi 36. It’s just a one minute walk in from the main road.