Banneker Recreation Center
During the 1930s, Banneker Recreation Area was developed as part of a larger Capital Parks improvement program undertaken by the Public Works Administration (PWA), Civil Work Adminstration (CWA), Works Progress Administration (WPA), and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Notably, the CWA was responsible for the completion of the historic Banneker Swimming Pool and Bath House in 1933-34. Those facilities are still in place.
Other New Deal work at Banneker included: “…tennis courts built; baseball diamond, football and soccer fields graded and equipped; running track and horseshoe courts installed; landscaping around field house completed.” (National Archives)
Most of this was probably done by the WPA, which had undertaken a million-dollar program of park renovation around the city in 1935-36. But the CCC may have done some of the landscaping, as well.
In short, the New Deal developed a complete recreation complex at Banneker Park where there was none before.
How much of the New Deal original play fields and courts remain is uncertain.
National Archives, Record Group 69, Records of the Work Projects Administration, “Newspaper clippings file, 1935-1942,”
“New Deal Projects Aid Many Park Developments in Capital,” Washington Daily News, July 23, 1936.
National Archives, Record Group 69, WPA Microfilm, District of Columbia, Box 969.
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - wpatoday.org on May 25, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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