The lobby's in Illinois but the bathroom is in Indiana
September 20, 2007 8:02 PM   Subscribe

Besides this, this and these, what are some other examples of buildings that straddle state or international borders?

I remember reading an article a few years ago about a gas station/convenience store that straddled the California/Nevada border but I can't remember exactly where that was. Are there any private residences like this? How are taxes, utilities, fire and police services decided - not to mention the mailing address?
posted by SisterHavana to Grab Bag (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Haskell Free Library and Opera House straddles Vermont/Quebec.

I remember an article in Yankee Magazine from the eighties that talked about a house that I think was in three different states, so it must have been VT/NH/MA.
posted by saffry at 8:22 PM on September 20, 2007

U.S. - Canada Peace Arch
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:47 PM on September 20, 2007

The Peace Garden between Manitoba and North Dakota includes a chapel that straddles the border. Picture, Map.
posted by Rumple at 9:01 PM on September 20, 2007

Uzbek house straddles border (scroll down).

WalMart plans a building to straddle border to evade building regulations here.
posted by Rumple at 9:13 PM on September 20, 2007

Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog has a bunch of Belgian exclaves in Holland (and even some Dutch exclaves within the belgian exclaves!). There are many houses that are partly in Holland and partly in Belgium. Because the country of residence is determined by where the main doorway is located, people actually move their doors depending on which country has the most advantageous tax laws at the time.
posted by Emanuel at 9:15 PM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Cal Neva Casino/Hotel straddles the California - Nevada border (hence the name). There is even a stripe running through the showroom where the two states meet.
posted by jpmack at 9:17 PM on September 20, 2007

Here's anothing one: Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan. It is actually a single incorporated city, unlike, say Texarkana which is actually two separate cities with the same name.
posted by Emanuel at 9:23 PM on September 20, 2007

(oops, I guess Lloydminster isn't a building... but it is a single "entity" that straddles the border)
posted by Emanuel at 9:25 PM on September 20, 2007

The building atop the Zugspitze straddles the German-Austrian border. I remember about 20 years ago walking on the roof and doing the I'm-in-Germany, I'm-in-Austria thing.

It was pretty awesome, because there were no railings, ravens hopping all over the place and a view that was (if you weren't careful, literally...) to die for.
posted by quin at 9:31 PM on September 20, 2007

Best answer: I lived for a few years when I was very young in a house that straddled the Tennessee/Georgia border near Chattanooga. My parents claimed that taxes were based on where the master bedroom is, though I have no confirmation of that.
posted by raf at 9:38 PM on September 20, 2007

There is some kind of bar or social club which is on the Maine-Quebec border. It was in National Geographic about 10 years ago. The customs & immigration was outside the town, so there was really no big deal about walking in and around the building.
posted by antipasta_explosion at 9:59 PM on September 20, 2007

The Florabama
posted by mookieproof at 10:48 PM on September 20, 2007

Best answer: If you're into border weirdness you need to check out the defunct but archived Yahoo! group Boundary Point -- it's loaded with goodies like this. From that group, here's an article about US/CA cross-border buildings. It's illegal to build new ones, though existing structures can stand. Apparently fewer than 150 remain though at one time there were over 300.

Now, your first link doesn't mention it, but the Haskell Opera House is far from unique in its neighborhood -- there's a bunch of structures in that part of Vermont/Quebec that straddle the border. Houses where you eat dinner in the US but go to bed in Canada. A bi-national general store (now closed) in Norton, Vt/Stanhope, PQ. For a time, the hamlet of Beebe Plain even had an international post office (scroll down.) I'm pretty sure this cemetery near East Richford Vt. is split by the border (and yes, the road does appear to jog into Canada for a couple hundred feet before heading back into the U.S.) Scroll a bit east on that map and you'll see a house and yard spanning the border as well.

And here's a 1979 article from Time (via Wikipedia) that goes into some more Derby Line/Rock Island curiosities (like the binational tool-and-die factory.)

There's more stuff like this on the NY/Quebec border. This hotel's pool table let you line up your shot in Dundee PQ and sink it in Fort Covington, NY. Sadly, it shut down a few years ago. I'm pretty sure it was in National Geographic a few years ago, too -- maybe that's the club antipasta's thinking of?
posted by Opposite George at 11:18 PM on September 20, 2007 [3 favorites]

The EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg another one.
posted by sueinnyc at 12:35 AM on September 21, 2007

CERN, although it is across Swiss and French borders but is an "international facility", under neither Swiss or French control.
posted by cholly at 1:08 AM on September 21, 2007

I always drove by this house thought it was half in DC and half in Maryland because of where the border signpost is located (smack in the middle of their driveway). But it looks like only a tiny bit of the actual house crosses the Maryland border.

This building appears to be genuinely straddling the border, however.
posted by puffin at 4:48 AM on September 21, 2007

For international, I like this one, although its probably not quite what you're looking for. In the bottom-right quadrant, you can see the small gate structure for the 6 lanes or so of traffic going into Mexico from the US - it just barely straddles the border at its top corner. Its interesting to note that technically, coming out of Mexico, you have crossed the border before reaching the massive US customs structure.
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:20 AM on September 21, 2007

The Hoover Dam straddles Nevada and Arizona and also the Pacific and Mountain timezones which is pretty cool.
posted by otio at 6:03 AM on September 21, 2007

Not a building, but the Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte straddles North and South Carolina, and I believe features a stripe down the middle where the state line is.

(Also, I want to point out how great Opposite George's answer is.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:44 AM on September 21, 2007

Best answer: Info from the International Boundary Commission.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:15 AM on September 21, 2007

There is an article in the NYT about the towns of derby line/Stanstead where the Haskell Free Library and Opera House is located.
posted by racingjs at 10:23 AM on September 21, 2007

The "State Line" restaurant near El Paso, TX straddles the New Mexico border. The liquor laws are different on opposite ends of the restaurant's courtyard.
posted by dws at 11:52 AM on September 21, 2007

Some more random comments, in case anybody's still reading this:

Oh doy. I spend so much time there and I didn't even think of this but Catamount Ski Area in the Berkshire Hills is split down the middle by the NY/MA state line. At the top of the main lift there's a sign directing you to the right if you want to ski in New York and to the left to ski in Massachusetts. The Topozone map suggests the border runs right through the middle of that lift's base station, as well as what I think is the area's Taconic Lodge (I once heard they used to have a bar with different liquor laws at each end, but never got a chance to confirm that.)

Of course, the Europeans have this beat -- there are locations in the Alps where you can ski down into a different country from where you picked up the lift.

For years NY and NJ argued over who had jurisdiction over Ellis Island in NY Harbor. The dispute arose because NY had original jurisdiction over the island, with NJ controlling surrounding waters. The problem was that over the years the Federal Government made substantial additions were made to the original island using landfill. In 1998 it was ruled that NY's jurisdiction was limited to the original extent of the island, thus creating a landlocked enclave of NY within NJ. It's all kind of moot, though, since the whole of the island is Federal property and thus neither state has anything to do with maintenance or services there, and they don't collect taxes on the real estate.

There's similar stuff going on between Delaware and New Jersey -- the unusual border definition means there are a few tiny parts of Delaware on the NJ side of the Delaware River. Here's a TV report going into more detail.

Finally, a couple stories about a CT/RI boundary dispute that affected some folks in North Stonington and Hopkinton. I think the states settled this around 2004.
posted by Opposite George at 5:04 PM on September 21, 2007

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