At State Street and Battery Place is the stunning former U.S. Custom House, a 1907 beaux arts masterpiece designed by Cass Gilbert. Standing on the site of New York’s first European settlement, the Custom House now houses the New York branch of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (1 Bowling Green, between Broadway and Whitehall St., 212/514-3700, www.americanindian.si.edu , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, 5–8 p.m. Thurs., free admission).
Inside the center are displays holding some of the country’s finest Native American art and artifacts, ranging in date of origin from 3200 B.C. to the 20th century.