The U.S. Customs House in New Orleans is one of the oldest federal buildings in the southern United States. Since being built in 1848 it has been one of the most important buildings in the city, continually hosting federal offices and courts. During the Civil War, the building also served as a Union Army prison after being seized from the Confederate forces. Currently, in addition to its federal offices, the building hosts the country’s largest insect museum, the Audubon Insectarium.
Standing just a few blocks from the Mississippi River in “The Big Easy”, the Customs House battles some of the most destructive weather in the United States. It has faced floods, hurricanes, and constant exposure to extreme temperatures. Last year, Waterproofing Contractors, Inc. was chosen to restore the damaged facade of the building, including wood windows, doors, and portions of the granite.
Each window and sill are being closely examined and repaired prior to receiving new paint.
The building features over 360 double-hung wood windows, most of which are original to the building. Over 700 sash and 360 sills are each being asssessed and graded prior to being repaired. Waterproofing Contractors, Inc. is utilizing Abatron’s LiquidWood® and WoodEpox® products on any areas of the windows and doors that feature decayed wood or missing wood. Site manager, Michael Cortez, allowed me to tour the jobsite and showed me the various states of the windows, sills, and doors.
“We like these products because they work well and they do what they say they are going to do. We’ll be using them on our future projects as well.” – Michael Cortez, Site Manager
Two windows: before and after patching with WoodEpox
This project began in October of 2016 and is due for completion by October of 2017. WCI is ahead of schedule and hopes to be able to wrap things up early. Once complete, it will certainly be a jewel of a project to add to their resume of restoration work, which already includes grand hotels and medical centers in addition to government buildings.
Restored and painted window and sill.