U.S. Border Station-Residence, Tecate, CA

The two Immigration and Customs residences are compatible in style and siting with the U.S. Inspection Station. The houses are identical in plan and elevation and are sited perpendicular to each other, south of the U.S. Inspection Station building. Each residence is a rectangular, one-story and basement, wood frame and stucco structure with a concrete foundation.

The gable roof is covered in Mission tile. Typical windows are double-hung wood sash with six-over-six lights and wood trim. Exterior doors are nine-light, two-panel wood doors. An enclosed wood frame and stucco entrance porch is centered on the front elevation. The porch has three arched openings on the front and one on each side. The arches were originally open and contained wood railings, but they are now enclosed with screening. The porch has a flat composition roof with tile coping, a wood tongue and groove ceiling and a wood floor and stairs. Latticed openings are visible below the porch floor level at each opening.

Adjacent to the front entrance door on each side is a typical window. Another window is located at each end of this elevation. These windows are shown on the original drawings with wood shutters and flower boxes which are no longer extant. A stucco chimney is located slightly off-center on the front elevation.

A small recessed porch is located at the corner of the rear elevation. The two arched openings of the porch have been screened in. The rear elevation also features a series of typical windows.

Each side elevation contains an interesting visual feature: a circular wood sash window with pivoting operation centered below the ridge at the attic crawl space. Several of the windows have been replaced with wood louvers. Two typical windows are located at each side elevation.

The front entrance leads into the living room which runs the width of the house. A brick fireplace with wood mantel is located on the side wall. To one side of the living room is the kitchen, breakfast room, corner porch and basement stair. On the other side are two bedrooms, a bathroom and a small corridor. The interior wood floors have been covered in places with vinyl tile. Original wood baseboard, paneled doors and trim are existing. The basement is divided into three areas: two storage rooms and a boiler room.

Historic features of the Immigration Residence and Customs Residence are virtually intact, with only minor alterations. Alterations include the screening of the open porches, replacement of most of the interior light fixtures, the installation of carpet and vinyl tile and the replacement of toilet fixtures and of the entire kitchen.

The U.S. Inspection Station complex in Tecate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, significant both for its role in Politics and Government as a custom house, where U.S. policies for international political and economic relations have been directly implemented on a continuing basis since 1933, as well as for the significant impact the building and its function have had on the Hispanic ethnic heritage of the region, having been the site of the immigration of thousands of new citizens of Hispanic heritage. In addition, the U.S. Inspection Station has been instrumental in the economic trade of the region, and symbolic of the exchange of cultural ideas and traditions.

The Inspection Station complex is also significant as an example of the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture as interpreted by the Depression-era federal building program under which it was constructed. The U.S. Inspection Stations at Tecate, Calexico and San Ysidro are examples of the adaptation of regional architectural style and details to suit an important government function. The Period of Significance dates from 1933, the beginning of construction. The Tecate Border Station, even with alterations, retains a high degree of its original design integrity.

Description Architect
1933 1934 Original Construction James A. Wetmore, Act'g Sup'g Archt
Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13