U.S. Border Patrol Sector Headquarters, Building 1, New Orleans, LA
The GSA building number is LA0811NE for this building, but on-site it is known internally as Building #1. The Building #1 of the New Orleans Border Patrol Station is a simple Neo-Classical style, one-story, brick building. The main elevation (east) has seven bays with the main entry at the center. There is a pedimented portico supported by squared Doric columns set in pairs at the main entry. Brick steps lead to the wood porch beneath the portico. The wood panel front door is set within a molded wood surround. The building's hip roof is surmounted by a hexagonal cupola. Windows are six over six double-hung wood set in wood frames and surmounted by a soldier course and a limestone keystone.
The south elevation is six bays wide. Windows are the same here as on the east elevation. There is a secondary (now primary) entry, accessed via a small porch, at the center of the elevation. The north elevation is seven bays wide and is finished in the same manner as the south and east.
The west (rear) elevation is more utilitarian. It consists of seven bays. The 2nd, 5th and 6th bays from the north have wood panel doors. The central bay has a narrow wood panel door with a nine light transom and stone keystone. The 1st, 3rd and 7th bays have the same 6 over 6 wood windows, with limestone keystone, as the other elevations.
The interior of the building consists of a single central double-loaded corridor running north to south. Originally, the east side of the building housed offices and the west side storage areas. The interior retains the original staircase and many original finishes, including plaster walls with 8" wood base. Wood floors have been carpeted and dropped acoustical ceilings added.
The INS compound has a long history in its current location, however the original site has been dramatically reduced by about half. One adjacent historic building appears in disuse and possibly should be reclaimed to prevent further deterioration and also add needed space to the INS compound.
Situated at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and a short distance from the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans has been, since its beginning, a significant port. The harbor is one of the busiest in the world. The Border Patrol Station is located adjacent to the Naval facility on the banks of the Mississippi River within the bend that gives New Orleans its nickname, "Crescent City". Between 1926 and 1939, the U.S. Government embarked on a large-scale building project. The project was expanded in the early 1930s to provide jobs during the Great Depression. U.S. Border Patrol Building #1 was constructed during this period.
Though not as busy as New York or San Francisco, the port of New Orleans has traditionally received many immigrants, primarily from South America. The Border Patrol buildings were part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) facility in New Orleans. Building #1 was used as an office and storage facility. As the law enforcement arm of the INS, the Border Patrol has the responsibility to detect and prevent smuggling and unlawful entry into the U.S.
The Border Patrol Building #1 is significant because it was part of the Federal building program of the 1930s and because it has performed its historic function continually since that time.