In the end, there could be only one champion.
After dominating victories in the first three rounds, the U.S. Custom House in Philadelphia found itself neck-and-neck with the U.S. Custom House in New Orleans. As the clock ticked down, the two buildings were dead even, but a late push in the final minutes gave Philly the slim 199-191 victory in the inaugural Federal Building Bracket Challenge.
“We’re honored to have such a national treasure under our care,” said Mid-Atlantic Acting Regional Administrator Rob Hewell. “We’re glad the Federal Building Bracket Challenge allowed us to share our excitement about the U.S. Custom House in Philadelphia with so many.”
Tom Rufo, Philadelphia Custom House Property Manager encouraged his staff to participate in the competition, adding, “It is such an honor to manage and work in one of Philadelphia’s most historic buildings. The Custom House has been a symbol in Philadelphia’s Old City district for almost 80 years. As we approach the completion of the ARRA building envelope restoration, I look forward to seeing the building restored to its original grandeur for many more years to come.”
The effort from the runner-up, the U.S. Custom House in New Orleans, was no less impressive, as it had knocked off a pair of modern edifices along the way, and won a one-vote squeaker over San Diego’s Weinberger U.S. Courthouse in the second round. JD Salinas, Regional Administrator, Greater Southwest Region was proud of what New Orleans accomplished, saying “It is an honor to have made it to the finals, and we congratulate the Philly team on a fine competition.”
From the Moakley Courthouse in Boston to the Morse U.S. Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, sixteen buildings from every one of GSA’s 11 regions were represented, and fans responded.
GSA’s Mid-Atlantic Region (3) placed two buildings in the Final Four, the Custom Houses in Baltimore and Philadelphia, while on the other side of the bracket, Kansas City’s Whittaker U.S. Courthouse and the New Orleans Custom House filled the final slots.
Philadelphia’s path to the championship:
- Round 1: Defeated Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, New York, NY 60-20
- Round 2: Defeated Robert C. McEwen U.S. Custom House, Ogdensburg, NY 18-10
- Final Four: Defeated U.S. Custom House, Baltimore, MD 50-36
- Championship: Defeated U.S. Custom House, New Orleans, LA 199-191