the Colaborative Inc

U.S. Custom House - Louisiana

Client: Walk, Haydel & Associates

Site: New Orleans, Louisiana

The U.S. Custom House in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of the city’s most notable landmarks. Located at the corner of Canal and North Peters Streets, this building was built in three phases over the course of many years. The granite exterior was quarried in Quincy, Massachusetts, and along with all the other building materials, was sent to New Orleans on a sailing ship. The central “Marble Hall” is considered to be one of the most impressive public spaces in the country, with detailed carved columns, bas-relief, and floors and walls of Vermont marble. The Collaborative evaluated the masonry systems and obtained mortar samples for analysis in the firm’s historic materials laboratory. Based on this evaluation and analysis, mixtures were identified for use in replacement mortars. Complicating the masonry evaluation was the length of time from the start of construction to completion, and the fact that the building had settled 30 inches. The results of the evaluation were provided in a report entitled “Mortar Analysis” and included as a chapter in the Historic Structure Report for the U.S. Customs House prepared by Walk, Haydel & Associates, Inc., architects and engineers.