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  • Naval Air Station Development - Lakehurst NJ
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) conducted improvement and development work at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey. WPA project details: "Construct and rehabilitate buildings and facilities" Official Project Number: 109‐3‐22‐13 Total project cost: $10,000.00 Sponsor: U.S. Navy Department "Make improvements at Naval Air Station" Official Project Number: 165‐2‐22‐391 Total project cost: $22,758.00 Sponsor: Commanding Officer, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, U.S. Navy "Excavate, clear, and level grounds, and provide bridges, roads, and fences" Official Project Number: 265‐2‐22‐40 Total project cost: $153,464.00 Sponsor: Commanding Officer, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, U.S. Navy "Improvements at Lakehurst NAS" Official Project Number: 709‐2‐44 Total project cost: $16,107.00 Sponsor: U.S. Navy Department "Improvements at Lakehurst NAS" Official Project...
  • Naval Air Station Squantum (former) - Boston MA
    The former Squantum Naval Reserve Aviation Base / Naval Air Station was improved and expanded in part during the 1930s with federal Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) funds and labor. W.P.A. project details: "Install telephone systems" Official Project Number: 165‐14‐4005 Total project cost: $16,633.00 Sponsor: U.S. Navy Department "Erect building" Official Project Number: 265‐14‐4004 Total project cost: $14,027.00 Sponsor: U.S. Navy Department "Demolish building and salvage material, and rough grade area" Official Project Number: 265‐14‐4010 Total project cost: $82,161.00 Sponsor: U.S. Naval Reserve, Mayor, City of Quincy "Enlarge flying field and improve drainage" Official Project Number: 265‐14‐4013 Total project cost: $132,165.00 Sponsor: Commanding Officer, Aviation Base, U.S. Naval Reserve "Construct ditches and grade field" Official...
  • Nevada City Airport - Nevada City CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the airport in Nevada City. In mid 1935, $10,547 from the WPA went into "Airport improvements." WPA Proj. No. 79703, $10,547, Oct. 18, 1935. According to Paul Freeman of the Abandoned Airfields website, "the 1948 USGS topo map depicted the 'Nevada City Airport' as having 2 runways, with 5 small buildings adjacent to the south side, and a 'Historic Monument' on the north side. An article entitled 'Nevada City's Old Airport – What Now' in the 12/21/81 The Independent (courtesy of Greg Archbald), the airport became inactive in 1961 after a fire consumed the hangars. It 'was...
  • New Bedford Regional Airport - New Bedford MA
    The Works Progress Administration had an active presence in New Bedford, providing funds for massive construction and city improvement efforts. Suggestions for an airfield near New Bedford first appear in documents from 1936, proposing a route “via Fall River and New Bedford to some centrally located point on Cape Cod. This route would be used mainly for summer traffic.” However, formal discussions do not appear until March of 1939, where it was proposed as a Works Project Administration project. Work on the New Bedford airfields officially began on April 9, 1940. It was dedicated a little over two years later,...
  • Newark Airport Administration Building - Newark NJ
    The original Newark Airport terminal building, then known as Building 1, was built in 1934-35 with New Deal funding.  Newark Airport holds a special place in aviation history, with the first paved runway and the first terminal that provided a designated place for passengers and a restaurant. It has been called, by one preservationist, "...the single most important and historic passenger facility in the world" and a model for all that followed. (Quote here) It is an Art Deco gem, the work of architect John Homlish (an extensive tour of the building and its details, with fine photographs, can be found...
  • Newark Airport Improvements - Newark NJ
    New Deal agencies greatly improved the Newark Airport, opened in 1928, during the 1930s.  The Public Works Administration (PWA) supplied a $31,635 grant toward an airport repair project whose final cost was $129,978 (PWA Docket No. NJ 1146). Construction on this project occurred between October 1933 and March 1935.   In 1935, $3,500,000 was allocated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for the improvement of Newark Metropolitan Airport.  The details of the work are uncertain, but probably included completion of the new Terminal (Administration) Building and new runways.  
  • Nome City Field Airport - Nome AK
    The Civil Works Administration (CWA) supplied labor toward the construction of an a "landing field out in front of Nome," a likely reference to what is now Nome City Field Airport.
  • North Bend Airstrip (abandoned) - North Bend WA
    A photograph at the U of Washington shows workers clearing land for an airstrip. E.R.A. - K.C.D., Proj. 2749, Mar. 19, 1934, Neg. 7; North Bend Airport From Google Maps, there is no trace of an airport at the location marked by topographic maps.
  • North Central West Virginia Airport - Clarksburg WV
    The Works Progress Administration built what was then Harrison County Airport in Clarksburg. The airport serves today as the North Central West Virginia Airport.
  • Northern Maine Regional Airport - Presque Isle ME
    One of 6 airports considered very important by the State Military Commission in 1940 for use as a military base. A 1940 Maine State Legislature report records that construction of the base was done by the W.P.A. Under FERA/MERA (Maine Emergency Relief Administration) there were constructed a 2100 x 100 graded sod runway and a 2000 x 100 graded sod runway. "In 1941 the federal government appropriated the local airport, establishing Presque Isle Army Airfield for planes bound to and from Great Britain. Activated as an Army Air Corps military airfield on 15 September... the airfield was de-activated on 20 September 1945...
  • Oakland Airport (North Field): Administration Building Expansion - Oakland CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) modernized and expanded the administration building at the original Oakland Municipal Airport (now the North Field of Oakland International Airport). The project was sponsored by the Port of Oakland and cost $70,000. The work added 8500 square feet, doubling the floor space of the building in order to house new offices of the Civil Aeronautics Board, including airway traffic control, air carrier section, private flying division, air safety board, airway communications station, and general inspection section, plus an office for the US weather service.  The building also served as passenger terminal for a time. The renovated building...
  • Oakland Airport (North Field): Hangar Improvements - Oakland CA
    New Deal agencies did a variety of work on the five hangars at the Oakland Municipal Airport (now the North Field of the Oakland International Airport) and later built a new hangar for the Naval Reserve Air Base at the northern tip of the field. In 1935, State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) workers painted four of the five hangars then existing at the Oakland Municipal Airport   They also installed a gasoline storage tank for United Air Lines.  SERA was funded through the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) in the early years of the New Deal. Minutes of the Oakland Board of Port...
  • Oakland Airport (North Field): Naval Reserve Air Base - Oakland CA
    The Works Projects Administration (WPA) built the first hanger, runway and road for the Navy Reserve Air Base at the Oakland Municipal Airport (now the North Field of the Oakland International Airport). Then, in 1940 the WPA authorized $237,000 for construction of a new hangar for the Naval Reserve Air Base.  The Port of Oakland only had to contribute $17,000 in materials (Tribune, 1940).  This was clearly part of the military buildup toward World War II, with Oakland airport only one of 24 in Northern California being funded by the federal government in 1941 (Tribune, April 1941). In mid-1941, a further grant...
  • Oakland Airport (North Field): Runways - Oakland CA
    New Deal agencies were called upon several times to expand the runways at the growing Oakland Municipal Airport (now the North Field of the Oakland International Airport). In the early 1930s, this involved bringing in quarried stone for fill to expand the runway area, leveling the surface and finishing off crushed stone. Later in the decade, the runways would be surfaced with asphalt and concrete. In early 1934, a team of 112 men from the Civil Works Administration (CWA) began work on the runways, laying 8500 cubic yards of rock (Minutes of January 8, 1934, p. 114).  When the CWA was...
  • Oakland Airport (North Field): Water Lines and Drainage - Oakland CA
    In 1936, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) installed a fire-fighting water supply system and laid drainage tile under the Oakland Municipal Airport (now the North Field of the Oakland International Airport). The drainage system covered 3.6 million square feet and included almost 60,000 linear feet of drainage tile and concrete pipe, for a cost of $104,000. The fire protection system involved over 7,000 linear feet of 4 and 6-inch mains, for a cost of $18,000. Both are presumably still in place and functioning (we spotted old hydrants and storm grates that suggest as much). Earlier, it had been announced that over $200,000 had...
  • Ogdensburg International Airport - Ogdensburg NY
    During the late 1930s the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) helped to develop what was then Ogdensburg's new municipal airport.
  • Ontario Airport - Ontario CA
    This WPA project replaced a much smaller airport to the west of the present airport. It was a $350,000 project and was met with much fanfare, completed just after the start of WW II.
  • Oroville Municipal Airport - Oroville CA
    In 1936, the City of Oroville acquired 188 acres of grazing land north of the city to build a municipal airport. During 1941, the Works Project Administration (WPA) aided the city in extending the runways and increasing the airport's footprint to 428 acres. The Army leased the airfield during World War II and expanded it further.  (Wikipedia) The Oroville Municipal Airport is still active.
  • Otis Air National Guard Base - Cape Cod MA
    "Between 1935 and 1940, Massachusetts and the federal government, primarily using Works Project Administration funds, constructed 63 buildings (all but Buildings 102 and the old Williams Hospital have since been demolished) and two, 500-foot (150 m) wide turf runways at Otis Field. The project was the largest WPA project in state history, employing over 600 workmen. In 1938, Governor Charles F. Hurley dedicated Camp Edwards, named after the former commander of the 26th Infantry Division, Major General Clarence Edwards." (Wikipedia)
  • Oxford Municipal Airport (former) - Oxford MS
    The Oxford Municipal Airport was constructed in the 1930s, most likely in 1937 which is the first time it appeared in the Airport Directory, which also indicated construction was under way on an additional runway. It is unclear from available records if only the original building/hangar was constructed, or if the airfield was part of the construction. The airfield was listed in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory, but closed sometime between 1965-1981 for unknown reasons. The 1967 Minute Book #23, City of Oxford, indicates the city owned "the old airport property on Murray Creek" (p. 195), so it most likely...
  • Pensacola International Airport - Pensacola FL
    "The development of the Pensacola International Airport began during the Great Depression. Conner Hagler, owner of the San Carlos Hotel, and Harry Blanchard, a barnstorming pilot originally from Virginia, bought 504 acres of thick woodland on Skinner’s Mill Road (12th Avenue) in 1933. The first commercial flight in Pensacola landed on 7 April 1934, with a 14-passenger tri-motor Stinson of Atlantic and Gulf Coast Airlines. At that time, Pensacola’s airport began operation with of two grass-strip runways and an old hangar which had once belonged to the Navy. In 1935, the City of Pensacola sponsored a project through the Works...
  • Peter O. Knight Airport - Tampa FL
    "Peter O. Knight Airport...is an airport on Davis Islands, five minutes (3 NM or 5.6 km or 3.5 mi) from downtown Tampa, Florida. Built as a Works Progress Administration project, it was Tampa's main airport from 1935 to 1945, and is still used by general aviation operators today because of its proximity to the central city. The airport was named for prominent attorney and businessman Peter O. Knight, namesake of Holland & Knight. The airport's original administration building was torn down in the 1960s, and replaced by the current building. Although seaplanes aren't quite as popular anymore, the basin is still there at Davis...
  • Philadelphia International Airport - Philadelphia PA
    "The WPA's good works in Philadelphia included ... construction of the Municipal (later Philadelphia International) Airport ..."
  • Picatinny Arsenal - Rockaway Township NJ
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) conducted millions of dollars (not even adjusted for inflation) of improvement and development work at the Picatinny Arsenal and a sub-installation, the Lake Denmark Naval Ammunition Depot, in New Jersey. Work involved the construction and improvement of storage facilities and various utilities. One WPA project description: Repair and rehabilitate buildings, utilities, equipment, water supply, and purification, water and sewer lines, transportation facilities, and airport, improve plumbing, heating, and electrical installations, landscape, grade, and drain grounds, also includes the construction of storage buildings officers quarters extension to storage buildings, officers quarters, extension to carpenter shop, change houses,...
  • Pitt-Greenville Airport - Greenville NC
    "The Works Progress Administration constructed the Greenville Airport in 1940 on land that was jointly owned by the city of Greenville and Pitt County. A Civil Pilot training Program operated from the airport until it was leased by the United States Navy on May 1, 1942 to be an outlying field of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. The field was under utilized until November 30, 1942, when it was announced that it would be upgraded by the Civil Aeronautics Administration."
  • Pocatello Airport Hangar - Pocatello ID
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a hangar for the Pocatello Airport in Pocatello, Idaho, in the late 1930s or early 1940s. We do not know if the hangar is still standing. Wikipedia indicates that four hangars are still standing from World War II Army Airfield on the site, but ignores the earlier work by the New Deal.  
  • Port Allen Airport Improvements - Hanapepe HI
    Between 1935 and 1941, the WPA contributed $127,000 towards work at Port Allen Airport, mostly runway expansion and improvement (“clearing, grading, and paving,” Port Allen Airport History). At its peak, in 1947, the airport served 37,000 passengers and provided a landing area for 1,100 tons of cargo. Today, Port Allen Airport is “used primarily by helicopter companies for scenic tours” (Port Allen Airport History).
  • Portland International Airport - Portland OR
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the original Portland Airport (now Portland International, PDX) in the late 1930s. "The present PDX site was purchased by the Portland City Council in 1936. At the time it was 700 acres (280 ha) bordered by the Columbia River in the north and the Columbia Slough in the south. The city council issued $300,000 and asked the Port of Portland to sponsor a $1.3 million Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant to develop the site into a 'super airport'. The project provided badly needed Great Depression-era jobs and was completed in 1940." (Wikipedia) Given subsequent enlargements and improvements...
  • Portland International Jetport - Portland ME
    Multiple New Deal agencies were involved with the development of what is now called the Portland International Jetport. Under FERA and MERA (Maine Emergency Relief Administration), a 2000 x 100 gravel runway and a 1500 x 100 gravel runway were constructed. W.P.A. projects, sponsored by the City of Portland: "Improve municipal airport" Official Project Number: 165‐1‐11‐111 Total project cost: $669,295.00 "Complete construction of airport" Official Project Number: 65‐1‐11‐2213 Total project cost: $93,335.00
  • Portland International Jetport Terminal - Portland ME
    "Like many community airports, Portland International Jetport had its beginnings as the private field of a flying fan. Today, the Jetport is one of the nation’s fastest-growing airports, serving most of the major domestic airlines and over 1.6 million passengers a year. Dr. Clifford “Kip” Strange first created space on his extensive Portland land for his own plane in the late 1920s. Before long, there were a couple of grass runways on his land that attracted other flyers. Meanwhile, Boston & Maine Airways inaugurated airline service at the Portland facility when it moved from Scarborough in 1934. The City of Portland bought...
  • Pu'unene Airport Improvements - Kihei HI
    In 1936, the WPA conducted wind studies at the prospective airport. Between 1938 and 1941, the WPA contributed $380,000 to the airport’s construction and improvements. The airport is no longer operational, but remnants of it are now part of Maui Raceway Park.
  • Purdue University Airport - West Lafayette IN
    Sometimes misattributed to the WPA, early development of this, the first university-owned airport in the country, was undertaken by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). FERA also built a hangar for the airport.
  • Putnam County Airport (closed) - Cookeville TN
    The since-abandoned Putnam County Airport in Cookeville, Tennessee was built with Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) labor. Tennessee Encyclopedia: "Some of Tennessee's largest WPA projects reflected the arrival of the age of flight. WPA workers helped complete landing fields and airports at Jellico, Cookeville, Lebanon, Jackson, and Milan." A high school now occupies what had been the southern part of the airport.
  • Raleigh Municipal Airport (demolished) - Raleigh NC
    "$150,000 of WPA money went to Raleigh Municipal Airport for paving runways." (ncsu.edu) The airport, which was located south of Raleigh, no longer exists.
  • Raleigh Municipal Airport (demolished) - Raleigh NC
    The Civil Works Administration (CWA) and Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) constructed runways at Raleigh Municipal Airport south of Raleigh, North Carolina. The field closed in 1973 and the property has since been thoroughly redeveloped.
  • Reading Regional Airport Improvements - Reading PA
    The New Deal had an impact on the development of Reading Regional Airport. Reading Eagle: The Work Projects Administration (WPA) "built terminal buildings and created runways for Reading Regional Airport in 1941." The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided a grant for airport improvements as well: PWA Docket No. PA 2135
  • Reagan National Airport - Arlington VA
    The first Washington DC airport was built during the New Deal.  Long known as National Airport, it was renamed for former President Ronald Reagan in 1998. Most locals still refer to it by its former name. Construction began in 1938, after "President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced at a press conference that he was 'tired of waiting for Congress' to select a site for the new airport and said that it would be built on mudflats on a bend of the Potomac River at Gravelly Point, 4 miles south of the District of Columbia." (Airport Authority website) Several federal agencies were involved in...
  • Road at Losey Airfield - Juana Díaz PR
    Youth employed by the National Youth Administration carried out work for a road fronting the Losey Airfield (today's Fort Allen Airport). "One of the important defense projects in puerto Rico is the construction of a military road fronting Losey Field. NYA boys quarry the stone, cart it by wheel-barrow and truck, lay it and aid in tar finishing; they also did preliminary excavation and ditch digging. The road is now almost completed. For its construction the boys have cut away and moved half a hill of stone."
  • Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Improvements - Roanoke VA
    Opened on it's current location in 1929, the Roanoke Regional Airport began operating with two dirt runways and a single small hangar. In 1937, with the condition of the airport deteriorating, the City of Roanoke bought the property. Using funds and help from the Works Progress Administration, the runways were paved, and the hangers were upgraded. During this time, it was declared a National Defense Project, and federal funds were funneled into upgrading other factors of the airport. Renovations were completed on December 15 1941, when the airport was dedicated.
  • Robert LaFleur Airport - Waterville ME
    The Robert LaFleur Airport is a small general aviation airport in Waterville. It was originally opened in 1931. A 2011 history of the airport explains the federal involvement in its development. In a 1933 town report, Mayor Thayer explains that: "In order to secure improvement for the airport— a very desirable improvement for the community—the City has entered into an agreement of lease, with option to purchase, with the owners of the airport, this condition being precedent to any activity by the Civil Works Administration. This contract will not involve any expense to the City of Waterville but will result in...
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