The Custom House was built between 1828 and 1839 by city architect John Foster on the site of the original Old Dock. It housed a post office, a telegraph office and offices for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. During the May Blitz of 1941, the building was heavily damaged by German fire bombs which gutted the interior and destroyed the dome. The decision to demolish the shell of the building was met with widespread disapproval. There is controversy to this day about the extent of damage to the building and whether or not reconstruction would have been practical. The loss of the Custom House was Liverpool's greatest architectural casualty of the Second World War