Restoring a Treasure: U.S. Custom House, New Orleans

A National Historic Landmark and among the oldest federal buildings in the country, the U.S. Custom House in New Orleans is one of the more than 460 historic properties under GSA's stewardship. When construction began in 1848, the four-story Custom House was sited in the burgeoning business district of the country’s second largest port city. Marble Hall, the grand business room at the heart of the building, is recognized as one of the finest Greek Revival interiors in the country. Since the Civil War, when Confederate and Union armies alternately used occupancy of the partially completed Custom House to signify leadership and governance of the city, the building has served as a symbol of resilience in New Orleans. The documentary traces the history of the building from construction through its recent restoration and modernization following Hurricane Katrina. Archival and recent footage, photographs, drawings, diaries and papers of original architects, and on-camera interviews with the GSA team and partners collectively tell the 150-year story of building—and restoring—a treasure.

The film production is part of GSA's efforts to support the Executive Order 13287, "Preserve America", which encourages Americans to explore and enjoy our nation's heritage. The film was produced for the Center for Historic Buildings, Office of the Chief Architect by the Video and Broadcasting Team, Office of Communications. For more information, please contact

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