The building is a Spanish-period building which was remodeled by the United States in 1924, with small changes since then.
The two-story building has massive masonry walls and large arched entrances to a central courtyard that reflects its Spanish origins, while the false partial gables with Spanish barrel tiles are typical of the United States Spanish Revival architectural work of the 1920s.
Its principal facade faces Bonaire Street and looks toward the ocean across a grassed area containing a Coast Guard beacon.
It is located in an area of traditional warehouses, commercial buildings, mostly one-story and many from the Spanish period.
There is a sidewalk around the four sides of the building, with the one on Bonaire Street wider and providing three mature trees.
At that time, customs administrative offices and warehouses were located on the first floor, while the second floor was devoted to dwelling units for the director of the customhouse and for the captain of the Port of Ponce.
In 1845 the customhouse survived a terrible fire that destroyed most of the Ponce port vicinity.
During the Spanish-American occupation, General Nelson A.Miles established the headquarters of the American army in the customhouse, from which he directed the invasion of the southern part of Puerto Rico. Customs Service undertook a comprehensive program of rebuilding and new construction.Salvador Brau, noted Puerto Rican historian, served as the head appraiser for the Spanish customs service in Ponce; after the American occupation, he was appointed by General Miles as Customs Administrator of Puerto Rico, a post he held for many years. The remodeling may have been under the supervision of Albert B.Nichols, architect and inspector of buildings in the Supervising Architect of the Treasury's San Juan field office.A sheet of drawings, unsigned and undated, for the remodeling are in the San Juan Custom House files, and U. Customs Service believes that they may be Nichols' work.Three other sheets signed by Rafael Carmoega, Chief architect of the insular government and presumed to date from August 1930, exist in the Public Building Service records.