The Geelong Customs House was built by W.G. Cornish, in 1856 as a three storey ashlar sandstone and rubble basalt structure. It is the finest mid nineteenth century public building in western Victoria. This distinctive georgian composition clearly reflects the influence of earlier N.S.W. colonial public building traditions as espoused by architect James Balmain. The structure is on a site which has served as the Customs Reserve since 1838 and the present Customs House served the port of Geelong at the height of its activity in the 19th Century. The building is an exemplar of freestone masonry construction in Victoria.