500 Massachusetts Sites

A contemporaneous photo of Bourne Bridge, which spans the Cape Cod Canal
C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. “Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration.” (1939).

On January 23rd, The Living New Deal mapped its 500th New Deal site for Massachusetts: WPA repairs to Oread Place in Worcester. The Bay State now joins California, New York, and Texas as states where we’ve located 500 or more construction projects and repairs, murals and sculptures, parks, and more–all brought to you by a government that was invested in building bridges, literal and metaphorical.

Many thanks to Research Associate Evan Kalish, who has dug through WPA Bulletins to find not just sites, but stories such as the one below:

LUNENBURG— … WPA Foreman F. W. Cleveland and his crew working on Youngs Road Bridge, saved two police dogs from drowning in Baker’s pond, March 4. The Massachusetts Humane Society and the Fitchburg Humane Education Society have been told how the WPA workers by nailing planks end to end formed a path to the dogs who had broken through thin ice 150 feet from shore.

With your help, The Living New Deal can chronicle 500 more sites–for Massachusetts, California, Texas, New York, and elsewhere.

Gabriel Milner is Project Manager for The Living New Deal. He is a trained cultural historian who teaches courses in U.S. History at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

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