Custom House observation deck tour
The lower portion of the Custom House, begun in 1837, resembled a Greek temple, but in 1913, the federal government exempted itself from local height restrictions and financed a 500-foot tower. The 22-foot tower and illuminated clock make this a recognizable landmark in the city skyline. Twice a day (weather permitting), the 26th-floor observation deck opens up for fabulous views. Please note: Access is weather-permitting, so call ahead if you are not sure. The guide gives a bit of history on the ride up to the deck. Visitors will have 30-40 minutes to enjoy the view. The public is always welcome in the first-floor rotunda, a work of art in itself, which houses a small exhibit of maritime art and artifacts from Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum.