Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling: Bolling Field (former) Improvements – Washington DC


The present Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling is the site of the former Anacostia US Naval Air Station and the former Bolling Air Field, both founded in 1918.  Bolling Field was absorbed into the Naval Air Station in the 1940s and a new Bolling Air Force Base constructed just to the south in 1948.  Those facilities were merged again in 2010, and the joint base is currently home to several functions, including a naval facility, a large heliport and a Secret Service base.  

From 1933 to 1942, New Deal agencies were busy at the two older facilities, making improvements of various kinds.  The Works Progress Administration (WPA) made a large number of improvements to Bolling Air Field (now the central portion of the Joint Base).

WPA project cards at the National Archives indicate that a large amount of work on Bolling Field was approved from 1935 to 1940, including improvements to the airfield and, buildings and infrastructure, roads and sidewalks, and landscaping.  That this work was actually completed is confirmed, in part, by reports in the journal Work  in 1936.

“Improve the southwest section of the flying field at Bolling Field, which is federally owned, by filling, seeding, grading, relocating water main, surfacing unfinished runways, and performing appurtenant work;

Improve buildings, utilities, and facilities at Old Bolling Field…including resurfacing and rebuilding runways, excavating, installing duct line and electrical wiring, roofing, placing brickwork, improving plumbing, painting; Rehabilitate buildings, landscape grounds, install curbs and aprons at New Bolling Field;

Make improvements at Bolling Field, including constructing aprons, drives, inlets, and parking areas; rehabilitating and fertilizing flying field and post park areas; grading and seeding; appurtenant and incidental work;

Develop Bolling Field, including extending paving; rehabilitating aprons; constructing taxi strips; connecting existing runways; installing water mains; telephone, sewer, and electrical facilities; constructing sidewalks; rehabilitating grounds; reconditioning and stabilizing roads; grading; appurtenant and incidental work.”


Source notes

District of Columbia Works Progress Administration, “Bulwarking National Defense,” Work: A Journal of Progress, Vol. 1, No. 1, Sept. 1936, pp. 18-19

District of Columbia Works Progress Administration, “WPA Covers the Waterfront,” Work: A Journal of Progress, Vol. 1, No. 4, Dec. 1936, p. 12



Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on May 29, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
Washington, D.C. 20032

Coordinates: 38.8378, -77.0159

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