After the Great Fire of 1813, the federal style building was erected at the corner of Penhallow Street (then Ark Street) and Daniel Street. Builders used two half-timber frames, which were salvaged from the fire, and small locally produced water-struck bricks.
This building was the federal government's Custom House from 1816-1850. The first floor, with its unique bow front, housed the Post Office, while the second floor, elegantly accentuated by arches containing wooden sunbursts set in plaster, was the Custom's Office. The slab of marble carved with the words "Custom House" was set above the second story level in 1838.
The large cellar arch was built to support a vault fitted with double iron doors, which held the collected customs duties. After 1867, the building was used by a variety of clubs, libraries, and schools. Today, it holds six condominiums, and of course, Ristorante Massimo.
Please take a moment to notice the various tints of cement on these original brick/stone walls created by masons both past and present, the cellar arches, and the exposed wooden beams overhead—all complemented by mahogany finished walls creating the perfect ambience in which to present our guests with fine wines and our chef's authentic Italian cuisine.