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  • Bakers Island Lighthouse Wharf - Salem MA
    The Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) completed a project in 1937 that involved "building of a new wharf bridging and steps at the Baker's Island lighthouse," a project intended to improve safety at the lighthouse for both visitors and the keeper. The W.P.A. replaced 82-year-old rotting timbers at the wharf. Workers were transported via daily water taxi from Salem.
  • Battery Landing Platform - New York NY
    In the 1937 the Works Progress Administration undertook construction on the Battery Landing Platform which was used as a landing pier for excursion boats (WPA).
  • Battery Maritime Building Remodeling - New York NY
    The WPA allocated $612,800 in 1935 toward the renovation of the "pier building foot of Whitehall & South Sts." The building in question is most likely what was then known as the Municipal Ferry Pier (built 1906-1909), now known as the Battery Maritime Building. WPA Official Project No. 65-97-427.
  • Beach Street Improvements - Manchester MA
    Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) workers conducted erosion control and other improvement work along Beach Street in Manchester, Mass. WPA Bulletin: Protection from damaging tides is given by this Manchester WPA riprap wall constructed along Beach Street where commercial fishermen and other boatmen use the wall landing. The entire surrounding area was also graded and beautified by WPA.
  • Cape Cod Canal Widening - Bourne MA
    The Cape Cod Canal is an artificial waterway traversing the narrow neck of land that joins Cape Cod to mainland Massachusetts. First constructed in the early 20th century, the canal was widened during the New Deal.  That work was part of a much larger project that included three new bridges across the canal (Short & Stanley-Brown 1939) The project was overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers and funded by the Public Works Administration (PWA), circa 1933-35.  The Works Progress Administration (WPA) came in later to do work on the banks, the nature of which is not specified in the...
  • Cargo Terminals - Wilmington CA
    As part of a group of 8 public works projects in the LA area South Bay, according to an article in the Los Angeles Illustrated Daily News reported: "No. 7 - New cargo terminals in Wilmington, $831,000; will employ 210 - 300 men for from 18 to 20 months." It is unknown if the buildings still exist due to constant development of the port.
  • Commercial Pier No. 5 (former) - Washington DC
    Commercial Pier No. 5 was part of a large-scale New Deal redevelopment program for the Washington Channel and Southwest Waterfront area. Construction of the pier began in 1940, by the Penker Construction Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, and was completed in 1941. The Army Corps of Engineers supervised the project and the total cost was about $270,000 (about $5 million in 2020 dollars). About 3,000 cypress and pine logs from Virginia were used to create the pier. Commercial Pier No. 5 permitted a greater exchange of goods in the nation’s capital, and was the result of “many years of agitation” from the business...
  • District Wharf and Engine Building - Washington DC
    The district wharf on the Potomac River near Maine Avenue on the southwest waterfront, as well as the original "engine building" (white structure ), was built under the New Deal. The wharf is the site of the rebuilt Maine Avenue Fish Market. Apparently, the funding came from the Public Works Administration (PWA).  Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees participated the construction – and it seems likely the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was also involved, given the nearby work by the WPA along the southwestern waterfront. The brief history on the DC wharf's website calls it the "30s Renaissance": "During the 1930s, the Southwest Waterfront underwent...
  • Dofflemeyer Point Lighthouse - Olympia WA
    "This light and fog-signal tower is typical of many of the smaller structures which have been erected on the coast line and rivers of the United States. The tower and housing for the equipment operating the fog horn is of reinforced concrete, approximately 15 by 15 feet at the base, and 35 feet high. It is surmounted by a lantern. This project was completed in March 1935 and the P.W.A allotment with which it was built included the electrification of other light towers and amounted to $13,500."
  • Ellis Island: Ferry Building - New York NY
    "This building was designed and carried out by the Public Buildings Branch of the Procurement Division for the Immigration Service of the Department of Labor and constitutes one unit of a large project to improve ferry facilities at Ellis Island. The building has two one-story wings and consists of a high central pavilion surmounted by a copper covered cupola. The central pavilion houses a waiting room for the immigrants, the left wing is devoted to the Customs Service, and the right wing has a lunch room with kitchen facilities. The construction is fireproof throughout, with a steel frame and reinforced-concrete...
  • Ferry Boat - Avoca LA
    Bartlett, Texas's Tribune and News in mid-1939 noted an "unusual" PWA-financed project under construction in Avoca, Louisiana: a ferry boat.
  • Fish Wharf, Fish House, and Boat Landing Repairs - Cuttyhunk MA
    WPA project description: "Badly handicapped by the ravages of last September's hurricane and gigantic tide," fishing, "Cuttyhunk's only industry, is being aided by WPA which is repairing the Fish Wharf and fish houses. Without houses to receive the day's catch and with the Fish Wharf so badly damaged it could not be used, Cuttyhunk fisherman had a hard winter. During winter months the 120 natives of the island support themselves by fishing. The sea-girt community is supported in summer by vacationists." Repairs to the Fish Wharf, nearly completed, will be followed by construction of adequate fish houses. Immediately after the hurricane WPA made...
  • Five Finger Lighthouse - Hobart Bay AK
    "This lighthouse stands on an island approximately 750 by 190 feet in size and Is midway between Stephens Passage and Frederick Sound. The tower, surmounted by a lantern, rises from a rectangular base which contains a combination living room and kitchen, four bedrooms, a bath, a radio room, an engine room, battery room, boiler room, and the necessary storage space. On the island are also a hoist house, a boathouse, and a short stretch of sea wall. All construction is fireproof and is reinforced concrete. The station is equipped with fog signals, and its 7,100 candlepower lamp has a range...
  • Fort Hancock (former) Development - Highlands NJ
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) conducted substantial development work at the former Fort Hancock. Numerous projects undertaken by the New Deal agency, totaling more than two million dollars , included utility and infrastructure overhauls, building new military facilities, reconstructing docks, erecting a training camp, and even building tennis courts.
  • Harbor Construction Yard - Wilmington CA
    "The Harbor Construction and Maintenance Yard at Berth 161 has been at its current location at the corner of Pier A Street and Fries Avenue since 1920. In this year, several buildings were moved from an unknown location to the new yard. Then in January 1936 a fire at the yard destroyed a two-story machine shop building. The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided the funding to construct new testing laboratory facilities and the consolidated machine shops. These buildings were completed in the fall of 1937. Two years later the PWA funded the construction of a new blacksmith and welding shop...
  • Honolulu Harbor Fuel Oil Line System - Honolulu HI
    A Public Works Administration (PWA) grant of $92,224 funded new construction and improvement work on a harbor fuel oil line system for the Honolulu Harbor, under the direction of the Board of Harbor Commissioners of the Territory of Hawaii. The project, listed as Docket No. TH-1016-DS, was part of the PWA’s non federal project expenditures for the Territory of Hawaii, 1938-1939.
  • Honolulu Harbor Improvements - Honolulu HI
    The Army Corps of Engineers, the Public Works Administration, and the National Industrial Recovery Administration funded and conducted improvement operations in the Honolulu Harbor between 1934 and 1935. The work consisted of the enlargement of the “entrance channel to 40 feet deep and 500 feet wide, easing the curve where the entrance channel joins the inner harbor; deepening the harbor basin to 35 feet, for a general width of 1,520 feet; dredging to 35 feet along the reserved channel, a channel 900 feet wide and 1000 feet long, and thence a channel along the northerly side of the reserve channel 400...
  • Houston Ship Channel Dredging - Houston TX
    The Houston Ship Channel officially opened in 1914 after the 52-mile long waterway that runs from the Gulf of Mexico to a tuning basin at the Port of Houston was dredged to a depth of 25 feet. The depth of the channel was increased to 30 feet in 1922. In 1933, the United States Department of War and the United States House Committee on Rivers and Harbors approved a plan to increase the depth of the channel from 30 feet to 34 feet and widen the Galveston Bay section from 250 feet to 400 feet. The Public Works Administration provided $2,800,000...
  • Industrial Canal - Corpus Christi TX
    In 1930, the first major industry, Southern Alkali Corporation, came to Corpus Christi. The company needed a deep water channel to the plant site it chose. The Port of Corpus Christi Board of Navigation and Canal Commissioners agreed to provide the mile and a half channel extension. It is referred to as the "Industrial Canal" and was completed in 1933. In order to pay for the dredging, the Commissioners borrowed from the Public Works Administration and issued revenue notes to repay the debt. Dredged materials from the channel were used for levees and to fill land that was then used...
  • Jodrey State Fish Pier - Gloucester MA
    The facility now known as Jodrey State Fish Pier was constructed with the assistance of federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds during the Great Depression. The PWA supplied a grant of $522,046 for the project, whose total cost was $1,137,311. Construction occurred between April 1937 and Sept. 1938. PWA Docket No. MA W1354
  • Kaunakakai Harbor - Molokai HI
    The Army Corps of Engineers, the Public Works Administration, and the National Industrial Recovery Administration funded and conducted improvement operations in the Kaunakakai Harbor on Molokai, between 1933 and 1934. The work consisted of the “dredging of a harbor basin about 1,500 feet long, 600 feet wide, and 23 feet deep at mean lower low water.” The estimated cost of the work in 1933 was $120,000. The estimated cost for annual maintenance was $5,000.
  • King Harbor Breakwater - Redondo Beach CA
    In 1939 the Public Works Administration (PWA) funded a 2300-foot long, L-shaped breakwater in jutting out from the coast at Redondo Beach, California.  It was constructed of rocks ferried over on barges from Catalina Island. The Redondo Beach breakwater was supposed to be the first segment of a small boat harbor, but it was not until the 1950s when more government funding became available that the old PWA breakwater was extended south to become the present-day King Harbor.
  • Lighthouse (former) - New Bedford MA
    This small lighthouse bears a plaque showing it was built by the WPA in 1935-36. It no longer functions as a light house. Another more recent inscription shows it was "Relocated and Reconstructed" to its current location in Peter Francisco Memorial Square in 1982.
  • Lindbergh Bay Pier - Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas VI
    The Public Works Administration (PWA) carried out the construction of a pier "at Lindbergh Bay on Government-owned property." The cost of the PWA work—which included a beach house—was $3,230.85.
  • Los Angeles Maritime Museum - San Pedro CA
    "Built in 1941, this Public Works Administration "Streamlined Moderne" building was the base for an auto ferry which crossed the channel at regular intervals from San Pedro to a sister building on Terminal Island. It served navy personnel, fishing industry employees, and people who wished to avoid the long circuitous route through Wilmington and Industrial Long Beach. With the completion of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in 1963, ferry operations ceased, and the building became an overflow office for the Harbor Department. Saved from deterioration by historically-minded citizens, the building has been beautifully restored, and now houses the largest maritime...
  • Marblehead Light Repairs - Marblehead MA
    The W.P.A. conducted improvement work at Marblehead Light. Project details: "Make repairs at lighthouse" Official Project Number: 165‐15‐2008 Total project cost: $4,345.00 Sponsor: Commanding Officer, Harbor Defense (1st Corps Area USA) "Replace fence" Official Project Number: 365‐14‐8001 Total project cost: $845.00 Sponsor: Commanding Officer
  • Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse - Hannibal MO
    This is the second lighthouse at this site, the first was the WPA built lighthouse, but unfortunately it blew down in a windstorm in 1960.  It was rebuilt in 1963 with the same exterior appearance as the original.
  • Mayagüez Harbor Improvements - Mayagüez PR
    The Army Corps of Engineers, with funds from the National Industrial Recovery Act, carried out improvements in the Mayagüez Harbor.
  • Montauk Point Lighthouse Improvements - Montauk NY
    This late 18th century lighthouse in Montauk Point State Park was repaired by the WPA in the 1930s.
  • Municipal Fish Market - San Pedro CA
    An article in the Illustrated Daily News noted that as part of a group of 8 federally funded projects in the early period of the New Deal was "No. 3 - Construction of a municipal fish market in San Pedro. $205,000 will employ 130 to 170 men for 10 months." The Mission Revival style building exists today and provides fish wholesale to businesses and to the public early Saturday mornings from 3:30 to 7:30am.  
  • Municipal Fish Market Pier Reconstruction - Washington DC
    In 1937, the District of Columbia government contracted with the Fred Drew Co. to reconstruct the Municipal Fish Market Pier (also called Pier No. 1). The cost of the project was $20,000 (about $366,000 in 2020 dollars) and funds were provided via the District of Columbia Appropriation Act for 1937, signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt on June 23, 1936. The project was part of a broad New Deal initiative to modernize and beautify the Washington Channel and Southwest Waterfront areas. Work started on April 19, 1937 and was completed three months later, on July 13. The DC Government noted: “The...
  • Municipal Harbor - Atlantic Highlands NJ
    The Atlantic Highlands municipal harbor was constructed 1939-1941. Of its nearly $1,000,000 cost, the WPA paid most of it. The Army Corps of Engineers built a 4,000 foot breakwater to protect the harbor.
  • Municipal Wharf - Southport NC
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a wharf in Southport, North Carolina. The exact location and current status of the structure is presently unknown to Living New Deal.
  • Municipal Yacht Basin - Charleston SC
    What was then known as the Municipal Yacht Basin was constructed as a New Deal project, undertaken by the Civil Works Administration (CWA) and Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). As part of the broader development: "The City of Charleston continued to explore opportunities for using the as a seaplane terminal. In the spring of that year, flights from Germany to Charleston were proposed. In early 1937, the Works Progress Administration started work to convert the mill building into the James F. Byrnes air terminal. Pan American World Airways hired the New York firm of Delano and Aldrich to plan for a...
  • Naples Canal - Long Beach CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) reconstructed the retaining walls along Naples Canal in Long Beach, CA, after the 1933 earthquake "caused a slump in the sidewalk area directly behind the wall, making a dangerous passageway for pedestrians and threatening the stability of homes back of the property line" (Connolly and Farman).
  • New London Municipal Docks - New London CT
    The Works Progress Administration built the New London Municipal Docks in New London CT. The exact location and condition of this facility are unknown to the Living New Deal.
  • Newport Bay Harbor Improvements - Newport Beach CA
    In 1933, the Federal Emergency Relief Act funded 65% of extensive Newport Beach Harbor improvements in Newport Beach, CA. As part of the project, sandbars were dredged and jetties were extended to improve sailing conditions and increase Newport Harbor’s allure as a commercial and naval auxiliary harbor. These improvements made the harbor one of the best in Orange County, if not in all of California.  Today it serves mainly as a leisure harbor (as opposed to a commercial harbor) and if you walk to the end of the Balboa Peninsula you can visit a plaque that commemorates the Newport Harbor Improvements...
  • Passenger and General Cargo Terminal - San Pedro CA
    'The passenger terminal at the port of Los Angeles consists of a reinfoced concrete wharf and a transit shed, 120 by 440 feet, providing 26,000 feet of roofed cargo area. The passengers are separated from the cargo handling and trucking section by means of an elevated corridor 18 feet wide on the ship side of the terminal. An electrically operated, automaticaly adjustable, traveling passenger landing stage and gangplank serves to connect vessels with the corridor... The fruit terminal is used primarily for unloading bananas arriving on vessels in the South American trade. It consists of a creosoted-timber landing wharf upon...
  • Petersburg Harbor Improvements - Petersburg AK
    "Location.— Petersburg Harbor is situated inside the northern entrance to Wrangell Narrows, on the northwesterly end of Mitkof Island, 779 miles northwesterly from Seattle, and 107 miles south westerly from Juneau. (SeeU.S.CoastandGeodeticSurvevChart No. 8170.) Existing project.— This provides for dredging suitable approaches with a depth of 24 feet to the existing wharves; a small boat basin 11 feet deep between the Trading Union Wharf and Citizens Wharf to a line substantially following the present mean lower low water line; and a short channel 40 feet wide and 8 feet deep to the south side of the Forestry Service float. All depths...
  • Pier 4 (former) Renovation - New Bedford MA
    Now part of Fisherman's Wharf, New Bedford's former Pier 4 was renovated and enlarged by Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) laborers. WPA Bulletin: "Pier 4." New Bedford, where fish valued at $2,000,000 is landed annually is being repaired and enlarged by WPA. The old pier, 200 feet long and 95 feet wide, will be extended 60 additional feet. Rotted, worm-eaten wooden piles will removed and replaced with concrete piles reinforced with steel rods. The wooden deck of the pier is being removed and will be replaced with concrete deck slabs a new asphalt deck coating.
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