U.S. Border Patrol Sector Headquarters, Building 13, New Orleans, LA
This building is GSA building number LA0066NE, however, on-site it is referred to as building number 13. Building #13 at the Border Patrol Headquarters in New Orleans is a Neo-Classical style building. It is a two-story frame structure clad with brick laid in common bond. There is a one-story extension to the east.
The main elevation (west) is nine bays wide. Windows are wood, 6 over 6 double hung, set within a wood frame. Each window opening is ornamented by a brick soldier courses and limestone keystone. The building was originally used as a quarantine station for the Border Patrol and, as such, had a two-story screened porch across the west elevation. In 1991, the building was altered and the porch removed. The main entry, at the present time, is within a Greek Revival style portico supported by square Doric columns. The original entry door remains. It is a wood panel door with three-light sidelights. The doorway is also accented by a keystone. The north and south elevations are brick with three bays of windows set within wood frames and accented by keystones.
The east elevation has a one-story addition connected in the center of the elevation by a narrow passageway. Windows and other features are basically the same as on the other elevations. The extension (originally a kitchen building) has a small porch at the northeast corner.
The interior of the building has been altered. The building originally served as a quarantine station. The first floor consisted of a central hall with living room, and dining room separated by a staircase. Small double-loaded corridors running off the living room were flanked by bedrooms. A narrow passage led to the kitchen extension building. The second floor also had a large central gathering room with two double loaded corridors running off it. Bedrooms flanked the corridors. After the alteration, the interior was reconfigured to house various offices. The original wooden staircase remains. Typical contemporary finishes are carpet, painted or vinyl-clad walls and dropped acoustical ceilings.
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 #13 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 facility in New Orleans. Building #13 was used as a quarantine station in the superintendent's quarters complex. 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 #13 is significanct because it was part of the Federal building program of the 1930s and because it has performed its historic function continually since that time.