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  • ABC Playground - New York NY
    This small playground on Houston St. between Essex and Norfolk was constructed by the Department of Parks in 1934 as a playground for small children. According to the press release announcing its opening, it originally contained "a shelter house, basketball courts and complete playground apparatus," and was one of 38 new play areas "completely equipped with modern recreational facilities, which have been added to the park system during a period of four months by the new administration.” The playground took on its current name after a major renovation in October 1998. The name "reflects both its location at the northern...
  • Ala Moana Park: Lawn Bowling Green - Honolulu HI
    Part of the Ala Moana Park complex, the Lawn Bowling Green was designed by architect Harry Sims Bent and built with the help of federal funds and FERA and CWA labor. "Constructed in 1939, the lawn bowling green was the last of Harry Sims Bent's designs for Ala Moana Park. It remains today the only lawn bowling green in Honolulu."
  • Ala Moana Park: the Sports Pavilion and Banyan Court - Honolulu HI
    Part of the Ala Moana Park complex, the Sports Pavilion and Banyan Court were designed by architect Harry Sims Bent and built with the help of federal funds and FERA and CWA labor. “The simple concrete exterior walls of the sports pavilion do not suggest the exotic richness of the banyan court hidden behind its walls. The banyan court is probably the best-kept secret in Honolulu's parks today; it is also perhaps Harry Sims Bent's most noteworthy design. The sports pavilion and banyan court were officially completed 1937, although much of the sports pavilion had been finished somewhat earlier, by 1935....
  • Alamo Stadium - San Antonio TX
    San Antonio's historic Alamo Stadium was constructed at/near the site of an abandoned rock quarry by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938-40. The facility was dedicated September 20, 1940. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a much loved place for many San Antonians who grew up here. In 2013 Alamo Stadium underwent a $35 million renovation which restored the facades, including plaques and markers.
  • Alexander Hamilton Playground - New York NY
    In January 1940, the Parks Department announced the completion of a complete renovation of what is now the Alexander Hamilton Playground: "At the Hamilton Place area, the old playground has been entirely reconstructed to provide for wider and more intensive usage. Besides a new modern comfort station, there is now a wading pool, volley ball and handball courts, a jungle gym, swings, slides and see-saws, The entire area has been resurfaced with bituminous material to provide for continuous usage throughout the year. The opening of these two areas, designed by the Park Department and built by the Work Projects Administration, makes a...
  • Allerton Ballfields - Bronx NY
    "The Allerton Ballfields are not mentioned by name in the NYC Parks Department Press releases because they were part of the same project: the construction of a large playground alongside four ball fields. Today they have separate labels: French Charley's Playground and Allerton Ballfields. The Department of Parks Press Release, July 29, 1940, says " will be developed with two children's playgrounds, one on the westerly side near 204 Street, and the other on Bronx Boulevard opposite Rosewood Street . Two softball diamonds and also a regulation baseball diamond will be provided." These are the diamonds adjacent to French Charley's...
  • Alley Pond Park - Oakland Gardens NY
    An August 1935 Parks Department press release lists Alley Pond Park as one of seventy-three play areas developed in the preceding year with "city, state and federal relief funds." The release describes this park as having play areas designed for mothers and infants, older children, adolescents and adults. Today's NYC Parks website confirms this timing: "The park, including 26 acres of newly constructed playing fields and the Alley Pond Park Nature Trail, the first such trail in the city’s park system, officially opened in 1935 at a ceremony attended by Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia (1882–1947) and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (1888–1981)....
  • Alumni Field Development - Maynard MA
    The New Deal had a large impact on Maynard's Alumni Field. In 1933 the Civil Works Administration (C.W.A.) surfaced the running track, built a concrete foundation for bleachers, graded a field next to the highway, and surfaced tennis courts. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (E.R.A.) constructed a field house, bleachers, and a hockey rink on site the next two years. Work was continued by the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.).
  • Appalachian State University: Stadium (demolished) - Boone NC
    The Work Projects Administration (WPA) constructed a stadium and athletic field at what was then known as Appalachian State Teachers College (A.S.T.C.). Work was completed in 1939. Per The News and Observer, the college has "a class one field on which to display their prowess. Naturally, the main item is a 2500-seat steel and concrete stadium. No, the college is not an adjunct to its football team. The sport is just a normal college activity here." The facility, which was located north / east of Rivers Street at what is now the site of Rankin Hall and Edwin Duncan Hall, has...
  • Arcata Ballpark - Arcata CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) developed a municipal baseball park in Arcata, California, just north of the City Hall.  The work was first approved in 1936, finalized in 1937 and then completed in 1938 (WPA funding was greatly reduced in 1937 and then pumped up again in 1938). This is full-sized ball park, with a grandstand behind home plate, has been upgraded over time, but the entrance and barrier behind the grandstand appear to be original (wood).  The bleachers, lights, field and fencing all appear to be much newer.  It is still in use (and hard to view because the fencing...
  • Arlington "Ollie" Edinboro Playground - New York NY
    St. Nicholas Park is a long stretch of park between Harlem and Manhattanville, reaching from 127th St. to 141st St. The park contains two playgrounds. The larger one at 129th St., known as St. Nicholas Playground, opened before the New Deal in 1931. A July 1934 Department of Parks press release announced the opening of a second playground at the opposite end of the park near 141st St.. When it opened, the 200 ft. by 60 ft. playground contained an "open pavilion, a comfort station and a wading pool which can be converted into a basketball court, and slides, jungle...
  • Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center - Oakland CA
    Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center/Park was developed between 1936 and 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), working with the Oakland Recreation Department.  The WPA funded the project for around $60,000 in 1935 (Chronicle 1935). The 16 acre site on Arroyo Viejo Creek was purchased by the city in pieces, starting in 1935.  The entire purchase cost about $36,000 (Post-Enquirer 1935). The property had belonged to the Japanese Domoto family, who operated a nursery there.  (An interesting sidelight is that Kenji Domoto went on to be a famous landscape architect) The work of creating a new park began with tearing down acres of...
  • Astoria Heights Playground - Astoria NY
    The Astoria Heights Playground, covering most of the block between 30th Rd., 31st Ave., 45th St. and 46th St., was developed by the Parks Department and the WPA in two stages between 1937 and 1938. In September 1937, a playground for small children was opened, "as well as handball courts for older children and benches for mothers and guardians." Just over two years later, the Parks Department announced the completion of the rest of the playground: "he new 2.3 acre area supplements and includes the small recreational area opened in 1937, and rounds out the entire block, the southerly end of which...
  • Astoria Park - Astoria NY
    The 56-acre park dates from the early 20th century, but "major improvements in Astoria Park were undertaken by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses and the Works Progress Administration during a hot summer in 1936. The stunning pool complex opened on July 4 of that year and hosted the swimming and diving trials for the U.S. Olympic Teams in 1936 and 1964" (NYC Parks). "Besides the swimming pool, various playgrounds and comfort stations were added or renovated during the course of the New Deal using relief labor" (kermitproject.org). This included "an adult play area with handball, basketball, horseshoe and shuffleboard courts, horizontal...
  • Athletic Facilities, University of Nebraska at Kearney - Kearney NE
    Kearney State Teachers College was granted almost $10,000.00 in a WPA grant to improve its athletic facilities. The project was planned to be very “inclusive.” It included improving the current football and athletic field at the college, and leveling and grading the area to the north of the gridiron and practice field, formerly part of the “college farm.” Preliminary surveys called for the moving of much earth, and additional parking space would be among the improvements. Tennis courts and other recreational facilities would also be provided. If costs proved reasonable, the track and bleachers were possible additions to the project. In...
  • Athletic Field - American Falls ID
    The WPA participated in the building of this athletic field in American Falls. It is unclear where the site pictured is located, but if it is still extant Stebbins Park next to American Falls High School seems to be the likeliest candidate.
  • Athletic Field - Antioch CA
    The Works Progress Administration accomplished work on the athletic field and recreational center for the former High School and Grammar school, now the Antioch Middle School and Fremont Elementary School. WPA Project No. 165-3-3518, App. Date 10-6-36, $6,970, Total Funds $17,088, Average employed 45, "Construct athletic fields and recreational facilities on the Antioch High and Grammar School grounds in Antioch, Contra Costa County. Antioch Live Oak School District owned property." WPA Project No. 165-3-5518, App. Date 5-13-37, $2,401, Total Funds $4,218, Average Employed 14, Federal Man-hours 4,161, "Construct athletic fields and recreational facilities on the Antioch High and Grammar School grounds in...
  • Athletic Field - Garfield NJ
    The Civil Works Administration (CWA) constructed an athletic field in Garfield, N.J. The exact location of the facility is unknown to Living New Deal.
  • Athletic Field - Hudson MA
    Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) labor constructed an athletic field in Hudson. WPA Bulletin: The town of Hudson recently dedicated its new WPA Athletic Field during ceremonies featured by a night football game between the Hudson and Methuen High School teams. Hudson, rated the underdog, showed its appreciation of the new athletic plant by trouncing its opponent 14 to and the gathering of several thousand spectators who filled the WPA-built stands were most enthusiastic. Carl Rogers, Executive Assistant to Administrator McDonough, and Harry V. Madden, Chairman of the Hudson Board of Selectmen, were speakers during the exercises. Flagpoles at the eastern and...
  • Athletic Field - Lyman NE
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a "flood-light athletic field" in Lyman, Nebraska. The location and status of the structure are presently unknown to Living New Deal.
  • Athletic Field Development- Brookfield MA
    Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) workers worked to develop an athletic field in Brookfield, Massachusetts. From a W.P.A. Bulletin: Swish of tennis tackets, the bite of spiked running shoes, and the smart crack of ash wood meeting hoorsehide will soon sound from this Community Athletic Field, Brookfield. A WPA project now in progress involves repair and enlargement of the field, and construction of additional courts. The location and status of the facility is unknown to Living New Deal.
  • Athletic Field Improvements - Castlewood VA
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)'s "constructive project work" in Russell County, Virginia included "Castlewood athletic field."
  • Athletic Park - Lewiston ME
    Park improvements were one of many projects in the city that employed citizens in 1934 under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. According to the town report "Lewiston Athletic Park: General repairs and painting inside and out of the grand stand. Exterior covered with Setabs brick siding. Two bleachers demolished, rebuilt and painted. Erection of a 75 feet Flag Pole. Erected a chain link fence between the Athletic Park and the Junior Field."
  • Badger Park - Shullsburg WI
    "The landscape was planned and supervised by Phillip Wyman, a landscape architect from Milwaukee in the 1930's. This park holds an important geographical position in the visual landscape of the city. Badger Park is an 81/2 acre park, developed in 1934-1935 as a WPA project... The park includes a swimming pool, bath house, shelter houses, double tennis courts, concession stand, a picnic ground with fireplaces, tables and benches, a natural amphitheater commanding a view of two baseball diamonds and a football field... After the details were worked out, final approval was given by the federal government to start the park...
  • Bailey Playground - Bronx NY
    The New York Times reported in 1941 that WPA labor was to develop a playground at Bailey Avenue and West 234th Street in the Bronx. Bailey Playground now resides on that site: "WPA crews are busy on twelve other parks and playground projects in other parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx ...  A plot originally acquired for school purposes in 1929 will become the site of a playground at Bailey Avenue and West 234th Street, the Bronx.  A large wading pool is included in the plans." In August 1943, at the end of the New Deal, the Parks Department announced the opening of this...
  • Baird High School Gym, Football Field, and Wall - Baird TX
    The Works Progress Administration built the Baird High School gym, football field, and wall in Baird TX.
  • Baisley Pond Park Improvements - Jamaica NY
    New York City's Parks Department website states: "During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Commissioner Robert Moses (1888-1981) and the Works Progress Administration constructed recreational facilities in the park, including a boat landing, several playgrounds, tennis and handball courts, baseball diamonds, and a football field."
  • Ballfield - Middleborough MA
    WPA Bulletin, 1937: "The sharp crack of wood meeting horsehide will dedicate the completion of a baseball diamond being built by WPA on land bequeathed the city by Thomas S. Pierce."
  • Baltimore City College Athletic Field - Baltimore MD
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) worked to construct a athletic field at Baltimore City College. Maryland WPA Project #15.
  • Barnett Field (demolished) - Fargo ND
    Built by the Works Progress Administration in 1936, Barnett Field hosted the Fargo-Morehead Twins minor league baseball team until 1960. Barnett Field was demolished in 1963.
  • Baruch Playground - New York NY
    This park is located on the site of a former tenement and adjacent to what was the first free public bathhouse when it opened in 1901. This and other early bathhouses were built for the sake of public sanitation after Dr. Simon Baruch lobbied hard for new health laws. In 1939, Dr. Baruch's son donated the land for this park to the city at a time when it was still surrounded by tenements, and in order to provide both a local playground and to improve the bathhouse structure itself. The Department of Parks press release from the park's opening on May...
  • Baseball Diamond and Grandstand - Greene NY
    In 1936 the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a baseball diamond and a covered grandstand for the Greene Town Team in a park that is still referred to today as Ball Flats. Ball flats is a public recreation area "located next to the Chenango River within the Village of Greene...." (Greene Parks & Recreation). An article by the town historian notes that "In the 1930s there were so many strong left-handed batters (Harry Blakeslee, Bill Henninge, Charlie Gillette, Slim Barrows, Sanky Gibson among them) hitting the balls up to North Chenango Street, that they changed the layout of the field to what it...
  • Baseball Field (former) - Vinalhaven ME
    "The Athletic Field at Vinalhaven may well be classed as a fine type of work project - a project on which the ERA, the town and private citizens cooperated to make possible work, health and pleasure. About thirty-five years ago Vinalhaven granite was being cut and shipped throughout the country, the harbor was crowed with fishing vessels, and baseball "fever" ran high. The use of a piece of swampy pasture land was obtained from the owner. Stumps were grubbed, open ditches dug and the worse parts of the field filled. A diamond and small bleachers followed. From time to time improvements...
  • Baseball Field Bleachers - Sonora CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built bleachers for a baseball field in Sonora, California.  This field is part of a larger group of athletic fields behind the building know as "The Dome", a former elementary school building, long abandoned, that sits prominently on a hill in Sonora.   The WPA bleachers include a stone retaining wall with stairs and a long, stone drinking fountain.  We do not know the exact date of this work, which is unmarked. The playing field are used by several schools in the area and the bleachers and ballfield sit directly behind and below a building occupied by...
  • Baseball Stadium - St. Marys WV
    The National Youth Administration built a baseball stadium in St. Marys WV, Pleasants County. Project No. 8904. The exact location of this facility is unknown to the Living New Deal.  
  • Bath Beach Park - Brooklyn NY
    Bath Beach Park, named for the surrounding neighborhood, was acquired by the City in 1937. In 1941-1942, the WPA completed extensive work on the park. A press release announcing the opening explained: "Located on a knoll on the center line of 17 Avenue extended is a semi-circular overlook sitting area commanding an unobstructed view over Gravesend Bay and the Lower New York Bay. A concrete ramp skirts the brick surfaced retaining wall which supports the overlook and connects with a 30 foot wide tree and bench lined mall... The smaller western section which is subdivided into six use areas by fencing, benches...
  • Belmont Playground - Bronx NY
    Parks first constructed a playground at the intersection of 182nd St. and Belmont Ave. in 1937. A press release from July of that year announced the opening of "five playgrounds, constructed by the Department of Parks with relief labor and funds," noting that "These playgrounds are five of the twenty-four sites in neglected areas selected by the Commissioner of Parks and acquired by condemnation after authorization by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment on July 15, 1936." One of these five playgrounds was located on part of what is now Belmont Playground. Today's Parks website explains that at its opening in...
  • Bensonhurst Park - Brooklyn NY
    The bulk of present day Bensonhurst Park was first established in 1895. Two further parcels were added later. In 1942, the WPA completed major work on the park: "The Department of Parks announces the completion of work in connection with the reconstruction of Bensonhurst Park and the addition of a new playground, baseball fields and other recreation facilities… The old park area has been increased in size. Fifteen acres were added at the time that the Belt Parkway was constructed. This was done by pumping sand beyond the seawall which was erected at the outshore end of the property… The two previously undeveloped...
  • Betsy Head Park - Brooklyn NY
    Five years after the WPA built a new pool and bathhouse in Betsy Head Park, the Parks Department announced the completion of the rehabilitation of the south section of the rest of the park, bounded by Livonia and Dumont Avenues, Strauss Street and Hopkinson Avenue: "The remainder of the plot, to the west of the pool has been entirely reconstructed to meet the needs of a district well supplied with children and young people and under-privileged in the matter of play areas. The new plan, designed by the Department of Parks, called for the reconstruction of the baseball diamond, football field...
  • Billinghurst Junior High school (former) Improvements - Reno NV
    Billinghurst Junior High school named after long time Reno superintendent of schools (1908-1935), Benson Dillon Billinghurst had improvements made during the New Deal Era consisting of two new double tennis courts and a rock and cement retaining wall around the school playing fields. The rock walls are there today, but the tennis courts are now basketball courts. The school is no longer there. The site has become part of a large public park in the middle of Reno.
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