Raritan Arsenal (former) – Edison NJ

The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) conducted millions of dollars (not even adjusted for inflation) of improvement and development work at the former Raritan Arsenal in Edison, New Jersey. Work involved the construction and improvement of facilities and various utilities,… read more

Reformatory Improvements – Framingham MA

In 1935 F.E.R.A. and W.P.A. labor conducted the following improvement work at what was then known as the Reformatory (now Massachusetts Correctional Institution), in Framingham, Mass.: Roads and walks were constructed and grading done at the Reformatory Mother’s Cottage and… read more

Rikers Island Penitentiary Improvements – East Elmhurst NY

Excerpt from the National Archives and Records Administration, Neg. 17975-D: “Rikers Island Penitentiary. Description of work done by WPA. Erection of four single family residences; two single family residences; 5400 linear feet chain-like fence. Fence around entire institution, fence around… read more

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:… read more

Salem Visitor Center (Old Salem Armory) Modernization – Salem MA

Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) workers dramatically improved the old Salem Armory, now National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, in Salem, Mass. WPA Bulletin: WPA workers are changing the Salem armory from a drab, neglected structure to a modern, well-kept building…. read more

San Juan National Historic Site: Casa Blanca Historical Monument and Museum – San Juan PR

Between 1935 and 1939, WPA crews conducted historic restoration and renovation work at this site, Casa-Torre de Ponce de León, built in 1521 for the notoriously brutal conquistador who died before ever occupying the residence. It is better known as… read more

San Juan National Historic Site: Castillo de San Cristóbal Restoration – San Juan PR

WPA crews conducted extensive renovation and restoration work at this 18th century Spanish fort, including repair of the fortress walls, and cleaning, repairing, and lighting tunnels under the fortress, in order to facilitate tourism.  

San Juan National Historic Site: Castillo San Felipe del Morro Restoration – San Juan PR

Between 1935 and 1939, WPA crews conducted extensive historic restoration and renovation work, including restoration of the fortress walls, at this site, a 16th century fort later used as a military site during WWII.

Saratoga National Historical Park – Stillwater NY

This park commemorates the first major American victory of the Revolutionary War in 1777. “Establishment of a national park to commemorate the Saratoga battles, authorized by Congress in 1938,  came about largely due to the direction provided by President Franklin… read more

Schoodic Peninsula and Navy Base (former) – Winter Harbor ME

The Schoodic Peninsula is “located four miles (6 km) east of Bar Harbor, Maine, as the crow flies and contains 2,266 acres (9 km2), or approximately 5%, of Acadia National Park.” Following a deal with John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and… read more