Favorite New Deal Site: A Riverside Greenway, Charleston, West Virginia

A Riverside Greenway
Charleston, West Virginia

Photo by Betty Rivard

Several times a week I walk alongside a beautiful stretch of the Kanawha River in downtown Charleston, West Virginia.  Kanawha Boulevard was a narrow, traffic-clogged street when, in late 1930s, the city and the Public Works Administration (PWA) funded a 14-mile throughway to improve traffic flow. In 2014, after the Army Corps of Engineers stabilized the river bank, a riverfront greenway for pedestrians and bicyclists was enhanced. Blocks of stone from the original PWA project were repurposed as benches along the portion of the greenway where I walk. Today, federal grants are making possible the Capitol Connector, linking our State Capitol and Haddad Riverfront Park. The connector project is seen as a way to bring our community back together along the beautiful Kanawha and Elk Rivers. President Roosevelt visited Charleston on September 3, 1940 to view the completed boulevard, waving to people from his open-air car. I like to think that he and Mrs. Roosevelt would be proud of the legacy his administration helped to create here and the community connections it continues to inspire.

Tell us about your Favorite New Deal site. Send us a first-person story of 100 (or so) words describing the site and why you chose it. Submissions will appear in future issues of The Fireside! Be sure to include a photo (with photo credit). Send to [email protected]. Thanks!

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