Common Ideas

U.S. Border Station, St. John, ND
U.S. Border Inspection Station
St. John, ND

The border inspection stations on this web site, which are owned by the U.S. government, represent the government's response to an important chain of events related to customs and immigration law and the increased use of motor vehicles at border crossings. They continue to demonstrate federal authority and presence from the historic era and continue to retain overall integrity of location, setting, feeling, and association.

Benner and Hughes had previously recommended that the new stations be owned by the U.S. government, that they demonstrate federal authority and presence, and that they be sited, planned, and programmed to provide the following: proper location and proper facilities.


Proper Location: To inspect motor vehicles and control illegal immigration and smuggling at land borders, border inspection stations should be located before areas where traffic can disperse, or after points where major roads conjoin, and on the right side of inbound traffic.

U.S. Border Station, Trout River, NY
U.S. Border Inspection Station
Trout River, NY

Proper Facilities: The border inspection stations represented on this web site demonstrate a certain level of protection from the elements for officers, motorists, and goods. Such protection is typically conveyed by a porte-cochere, garage, or inspection pit, with other functions placed efficiently within the building.

Dignified and attractive surroundings: To represent the government's efforts to maintain morale and convey an impression of federal authority, border inspection station properties were "well sited" and designed to incorporate elements such as flagpoles and landscaped areas.


Border Station Residence, St. John, ND
St. John, ND

Fair and adequate service to the public: To represent the government's responsibility for the proper treatment of the public, border inspection station properties included features or spaces to protect goods against dust and the elements, provide privacy from onlookers, and serve the increasing volume of motor vehicle traffic with adequate capacity. Private detention areas and porte-cocheres with additional lanes also represent this attribute.

Decent living quarters for officers: To represent the government's responsibility to retain quality officers, border inspection station properties often included separate living quarters downstairs, upstairs, or in detached residences. Properties that retain integrity of design and materials with respect to living quarters that were on the properties before or until 1943 are considered exceptionally important relative to the other stations.

Continue to Architecture and Design

Last Reviewed 2015-11-25