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  • Bayview Park Improvements - San Francisco CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) made improvements to the 44-acre Bayview Park in San Francisco on Bayview Hill (or Heights).  These included a stone retaining wall along the loop road on the north side of the hill and two sets of stone steps on either side that lead to a trail over the crest of the hill.  There is another, mysterious stone path/stairway far below the loop road on the west side of the hill (we do not know if this is also WPA work). Bayview Park dates back to 1902, but is still a relatively isolated and undeveloped part of...
  • Bernal Recreation Center - San Francisco CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the Bernal Recreation Center in San Francisco in 1939-1940.  It sits just behind and below the Bernal Heights Public Library. Work consisted of excavating and grading 1,492 cubic yards of rock and soil, building 75 feet of rubble wall (18 inches by 4 feet), and paving 16,000 square feet of playgr0und area. Notably, the report on WPA work in San Francisco made a point that the combination of the library and playground on the same property was ."... combining the benefits of physical and mental recreation.(Healy, p. 64). The WPA built rock walls are still visible above...
  • Bonnyview School Grounds and Rock Wall - Murray UT
    The Bonnyview School was expanded in the 1930s with the help of the Public Works Administration (PWA).  At the same time, the Bonnyview grounds were landscaped and   220 feet of rock retaining wall were built, along with entrance steps.  The school district furnished the materials at a cost of $980, while WPA provided the labor from the ranks of locally unemployed men (estimated at three months of work for twenty men). The school has since been demolished and the site left empty, but the elegant rock wall and entrance steps remain (though the concrete steps are deteriorating).
  • Boyce Street School Retaining Walls - Auburn MA
    The Civil Works Administration built perimeter rock and concrete walls around the Boyce Street School, a public elementary school. Currently, the site is a public park and playground.
  • Citizens' Cemetery Boundary Wall - Prescott AZ
    In the winter of 1933-34, the relief workers of the Civil Works Administration (CWA) built a fine stone wall, 4-6 feet high, around the entire 6.5 acre Citizens' Cemetery. A metal fence has been added on top of the south side wall to discourage anyone from climbing over. Citizens' Cemetery was created in 1864, the same year as the founding of Prescott AZ.  It is now part of the Prescott Armory Historic District, which was placed on the National Register in 1994.  The latter includes Ken Lindley Park, the Museum of Indigenous People, and the former National Guard Armory (now the Grace...
  • City Cemetery Improvements - Cottonwood AZ
    From its origins in the 19th century, the cemetery in Cottonwood AZ was privately owned and run. A local committee was formed in 1937-38 to maintain the cemetery and it immediately sought federal aid from the New Deal.  Help came from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which fenced the entire site. We have no found a definite date for when the work was done. Notably, the WPA relief workers built a 4-5' stone wall along the front of the property and two entrance gates. The main entrance is notable for its a metal arch reading "Cottonwood Cemetery".   The wall, gates and...
  • East Bay Regional Parks: Other Improvements - Berkeley CA and Oakland CA
    The East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) was formed in 1934 and acquired land for parks from the East Bay Municipal Water District in 1936.  The first parks were Tilden, Sibley, Temescal and Redwood in the East Bay Hills behind Berkeley and Oakland CA.   The New Deal provided extensive aid towards improving the new parks for public recreation, working with the Parks District's first general manager, Elbert Vail. Overall, the New Deal agencies spent roughly $3 million on the East Bay parks, about double the tax funds available to the EBRPD over the same period  (Stein 1984, p. 18) Even before the parks...
  • Fairmont Park - Salt Lake City UT
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) helped create the old Forest Dale city park in the Sugarhouse section of southern Salt Lake City UT in 1935-37. The name was later changed to Fairmont Park (the adjoining Forest Dale golf course kept the old name). The park has been renovated and altered in recent years, especially the addition of a pond create on the little creek that runs through it (a branch of Parlays Creek), new pickleball courts, a skate park and a modern aquatic center.  But elements of the WPA-built park remain, including, no doubt, many of the old trees. At the northeast...
  • Fort McIntosh Historic District Walls - Laredo TX
    Works Progress Administration (WPA) laborers "built a sandstone wall around the entire fort grounds and today the boundary demarcates the Fort McIntosh Historic District."
  • Fort Sumner Cemetery Wall - Fort Sumner NM
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed the walls and entry of the Fort Sumner Cemetery.
  • Friendly Plaza Rock Wall and Courtyard - Monterey CA
    Friendly Plaza is a small park in front of historic Colton Hall and the city hall of Monterey, California.  The brick courtyard of Friendly Plaza was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project (Owens et al., 2004, p. 139).  The decorative stone wall around the plaza was probably also by the WPA, although Dennis Copeland, archivist and historian for the City of Monterey in the early 2000s, claimed that it was partly funded by the Public Works Administration (PWA).   Given the common confusion between PWA and WPA, both then and now, our guess is that both projects were undertaken by the WPA...
  • Grand Canyon Village Improvements - Grand Canyon Village AZ
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was extremely active in Grand Canyon National Park throughout the New Deal. The CCC enrollees worked under the direction of the National Park Service (NPS) and some of the projects were funded by the Public Works Administration (PWA).  The first CCC camp was established on the South Rim, where Company 819 started working on improvements to the facilities around Grand Canyon Village, the main visitor center for the park, c. 1933-1937. The CCC enrollees built a stone wall along the Rim Trail, the Kolb Studio stairs, the Community Building, rock pillars on Navajo Street, and various paths, culverts,...
  • Harmon Park Development and Wall - West St. Paul MN
    The WPA in West St. Paul: On the west side of Harmon Park, along Charlton, there’s an old stone wall that’s part of the original WPA work to improve the park and fields. Before the 2015 rebuild of the park, this wall surrounded a parking lot near the ball fields. A portion of the wall was preserved in 2015 and you can still see the “WPA 1941” stamps in a couple places on the wall. There’s also a plaque near the corner of Charlton and Bernard memorializing the “Development of Harmon Play Field” as well as a number of stones and...
  • Hope St. Seawall - Bristol RI
    Seawall constructed on Hope St. Built by the Works Progress Administration between 1935 and 1939.
  • Jacksonville Beach Sea Wall - Jacksonville Beach FL
    The Works Progress Administration constructed the Jacksonville Beach sea wall in Jacksonville BeachFL. The wall prevented beach erosion and provided protection against high tide. It was completed circa 1938.
  • Ken Lindley Park Improvements - Prescott AZ
    The former City Park and Athletic Field (now the Ken Lindley Park) originated in 1908, but major improvements were made with relief labor provided by the Civil Works Administration (CWA) in the winter of 1933-34.  It is likely that after the CWA was discontinued in early 1934, the stone work was completed under the auspices of the Arizona Emergency Relief Administration and largely funded by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA).   The main work done by the New Deal crews was to build the elegant stone walls that enclose the entire square block, and which serve as retaining walls on...
  • Lava Wall - Kailua-Kona HI
    The federal WPA (Works Progress Administration) constructed a lava stone curb wall along Ali'i Drive in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii during the Great Depression. The wall, located 6386 Ali'i Drive, bears a WPA plaque.
  • Marshfield IOOF Cemetery Rock Wall - Coos Bay OR
    As noted on a history plaque at the Marshfield IOOF Cemetery: "The Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds improvements to Ingersoll Avenue, including a 490-foot-long rock wall at the southern end of the cemetery." The WPA improvements occurred in 1938 and represent a significant improvement in shoring up the steep slope bordering Ingersoll Avenue.
  • Mill Creek Park: Retaining Wall - Youngstown OH
    Retaining wall that borders the Artists' Trail in Mill Creek Park. Built by the Works Progress Administration between 1935 and 1936.
  • Miller Park - Breckenridge TX
    The park, formerly City Park, was constructed, including clearing grounds, building bridges, sidewalks, tables, benches entrance, water and lights. An entrance was erected, croquet courts and other conveniences and attractions were built throughout the park. The creek was also walled. City park costs were $8,921 and employed 22 men initially, and a total of 32 men for six months. The work included cleaning and preparing the site and erecting culverts over the creek. Additional city park improvements were made for $4,273, hired 34 workers, and was financed by the Works Progress Administration in 1936. The park is still extant and...
  • Montclair Park: Stone Walls and Steps - Oakland CA
    The seven-acre Montclair Park in Oakland was built with the aid of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938-40.  This gem of a park lies just north of Montclair Village in the Oakland hills and below Montclair Elementary School. The park includes a recreation center, duck pond, large grass fields, a baseball field, pickleball courts, a picnic area, children's playground and a play area under a group of large trees.     The most striking feature of Montclair Park is its extensive stonework, which has held up admirably over the years.  The west side of the park, along Moraga Avenue, has a...
  • Navajo Street Rock Wall and Improvements - Grand Canyon Village AZ
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) conducted extensive development work at Grand Canyon Village, 1933-37, including the rock walls and pillars at the bottom of Navajo Street. The National Park Service CCC Walking Tour adds these details: "The CCC constructed these rock pillars and walls in 1934 as a visual barrier between the public area and the residential area up Navajo Street. Historians believe that this is CCC work, although documentation is lacking. The recessed cement between the stones was a common CCC technique. Civilian Conservation Corps rock work has proven to be durable. Notice the extensive growth of lichens on the...
  • NE 223rd Stonework Retaining Wall - Fairview OR
    In 1935, Works Progress Administration (WPA) stone workers built a retaining wall along the east and west banks of NE 223rd to finish a Multnomah County road improvement. The road project involved constructing a railroad bridge and underpass for improved traffic safety. The stonework completed this road improvement in the area of Depot Street and NE 223rd. A 2001 Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) report documented the 340-foot retaining wall along NE 223rd in Fairview, arguing for its significance as an example of the craftsmanship of WPA workers. Drawing inspiration from work completed on the Columbia River Highway and National Park...
  • Neptune Beach Sea Wall - Neptune Beach FL
    The Works Progress Administration constructed the Neptune Beach sea wall in Neptune Beach FL. The wall prevented beach erosion and provided protection against high tide. It was completed circa 1938.
  • Payson Canyon Rock Retaining Wall - Mt Nebo UT
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made extensive recreational improvements on Mt. Nebo, the highest and southern-most peak of the Wasatch Mountains.  The CCC teams worked out of three camps: F-9 at the south end of the Mt. Nebo Loop, F-3 at Hubble Canyon and F-40 near Provo, from 1933 to 1938 – and possibly to 1941 when the last camp closed. After building the Mt Nebo Loop Road (Scenic Byway), the CCC enrollees created campgrounds, picnic areas and trails. Not all this work can be identified precisely, but some can be verified from reliable sources. The CCC built an impressive rock retaining...
  • Point Richmond Rock Walls - Richmond CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built rock retaining walls in Point Richmond, a neighborhood of Richmond CA.   The most notable wall is found at 220 Bishop Avenue and was built in 1940. It is six feet high and runs the length of the property, about 40 feet.  This wall is constructed of finely-cut, multi-colored stone, which the property owner purchased and gave to the WPA workers to use. Another wall on Bishop Alley is from the same time period.  It consists of three levels: dark stone along the base, then solid gray concrete, and finally colored stone set in concrete....
  • Retaining Wall - Berwick PA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a retaining wall on the north side of U.S. 11 in Berwick, Pennsylvania, east of Stone Church Road. One of the stones is inscribed "W.P.A. 1939".
  • Rim Trail: Rock Wall - Grand Canyon Village AZ
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) conducted extensive development work at Grand Canyon Village, including reconstruction of an approximately 0.4-mile stretch of wall along the central portion of the Rim Trail, roughly between Bright Angel Lodge and El Tovar Hotel. The National Park Service's CCC Walking Tour says this: "Civilian Conservation Corps crews completely rebuilt the rock wall along the rim from Verkamps Curios to Lookout Studio in 1934–35, replacing a deteriorated, poorly constructed dry-laid wall and a section of wooden fence. Project planners standardized dimensions at 27 inches (69 cm) high and 18 inches (46 cm) wide." The most famous feature of...
  • Rock Creek Park: Improvements - Washington DC
    The New Deal contributed substantially to the betterment of Rock Creek Park in the 1930s.  This involved a number of federal agencies. Rock Creek Park is a key greenway in the District of Columbia and, at 1750 acres, is almost twice the size of Central Park in New York.  It was established by Congress in 1890, making it officially a National Park at the time.  It featured prominently in the far-reaching plans for the District of Columbia by the McMillan Commission in 1901-02 and the Olmsted Brothers report of 1918, which envisioned a major park with a scenic parkway running through it. In...
  • Rock Walls - Camp Verde AZ
    The Works Progress Administration built a rock wall in Camp Verde, Arizona. A wall stamped "USA/WPA" is located directly in front of the current Camp Verde Historical Society, which is housed in the historical former elementary school.
  • Rock Walls - Stanislaus County CA
    According to a report from the regional office in 1940, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) had recently constructed rock walls in Stanislaus County, California. Unfortunately, nothing more specific is known about this project, neither the location nor the purpose of the walls.  WPA reports could be maddeningly vague about some of their minor projects.
  • Sea Lion Point Rock Wall - Florence OR
    The Public Works Administration (PWA) funded the construction of the Sea Lion Point Rock Wall near Florence, Oregon. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, "his section of rock wall (.36 miles) extends around Sea Lion Point, providing a pull-out for viewing, to the north entrance of the Sea Lion Caves parking lot. The wall is a low, solid structure and believed to have been built under the federal Public Works Administration Program during the early 1930s." Video along full length of rock wall along coast highway at Sea Lion Point 
  • Seawall - Hilo HI
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a seawall east of Hilo in 1939. The 2.5-foot-thick structure was credited with saving the Pu‘umaile Home / hospital; the seawall "withstood the severe pounding of the angry waves ... lessened the force of the waves and the hospital was safe." Images of Old Hawaii: Some incorrectly suggest that the hospital washed away by the 1946 tsunami; however, it was spared. “The (sea)wall itself was undamaged, and buildings sheltered by it were undisturbed except for minor damage by flooding.” (Wiegel) The exact location and status of the seawall is unknown to Living New Deal.
  • Stone Wall - Kahului HI
    Relief workers of the federal Work Projects Administration (WPA) constructed a low wall along West Kaahumanu Avenue (then Main Street) in Kahului, Maui in 1939. The wall, which is about 100 yards long, originally formed part of the boundary of a school campus.  It is marked on one end with the initials WPA and 1939.
  • Temescal Regional Recreation Area: Improvements - Oakland CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) improved Lake Temescal Park, now known as Temescal Regional Recreation Area, one of the original units of the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD). When the EBRPD was created in 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and WPA were called upon to make the first parks of the system ready for public use.  Temescal Park opened to the public in 1936. Along with the well-known beach house and cascade (see separate pages) at Lake Temescal, WPA workers made several other improvements to the park – not all of which can be pin-pointed.  They created a large...
  • Timpanogos Cave National Monument: Stone Bridge and River Walls - Mount Timpanogos UT
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in making improvements to Timpanogos Cave National Monument in the 1930s. They worked under the supervision of the National Park Service (NPS). A notable contribution of the WPA was to build a lovely stone arch bridge over the American Fork river in 1935.  The bridge gives access to the Superintendent's Residence, built by the WPA in 1941.  The WPA relief workers also faced both sides of the river with 6-10 foot high stone walls for a distance of about 100 feet on each side of the bridge. The stonework is...
  • Todd County Courthouse Street Entrance - Long Prairie MN
    In 1938, the Works Progress Administration completed the tunnel and stonework entrance into the Todd County Courthouse.
  • Trail Ridge Road Rock Walls - Rocky Mountain National Park CO
    Trail Ridge Road is the main route across Rocky Mountain National Park, built in 1929 to 1932 to replace the old Fall River road.  It is a marvel of highway engineering and provides stunning views of the park, particularly as it traverses the alpine regions above timber line. The road is 48 miles long and its summit near the Alpine Ranger Station is over 12,000 feet.  It is the highest continuous paved road in North America and is now a National Scenic Byway. In building the road, the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) and its contractors built several miles of low guard...
  • Tumacácori National Historical Park: External Walls & Facilities - Tumacácori AZ
    The Tumacácori National Monument was set aside by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 to protect the ruins of the Mission of San Jose de Tumacacori.  In 1918, it came under the administration of the National Park Service and its regional 'custodian', Frank Pinkley.  Congress created the Tumacácori National Historic Park in 1990, adding the ruins of two nearby missions, Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi and San Cayetano de Calabazas. Under the park service's guidance, Tumacácori mission church and its dependencies were stabilized in 1920-21, but intentionally not fully restored.  Only with the aid of the New Deal did the park come...
  • Upper Park - Jerome AZ
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was active in Jerome, a copper mining town hit hard by the Great Depression.  The WPA hired out-of-work miners for several projects in Jerome and nearby towns, c. 1937-38.  One of those projects is "Upper Park" on the hillside between upper Main Street and Clark Street. The parks consist of two parts.  Along Main Street a spacious, curving bank of stone risers is flanked by stairways and stone walls, with a short pair of central stairs and a metal drinking fountain.  The stairways lead up to a small area with grass and trees, backed by a...
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