Camp San Luis Obispo Improvements – San Luis Obispo CA


Two different WPA projects involved improvements at Camp San Luis Obispo, a National Guard Training camp, formerly Camp Merriam, originally constructed in 1928.

WPA Proj. No. 165-3-2634, September 17, 1936, Total sponsor and Federal funds $4,494, Months to Complete 5, Average Employed 29, “National Guard Training Camp. Move and reset frame structure, construct new footing at National Guard Training camp near San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County. State owned property.”

WPA Proj. No. 165-3-3528, October 5, 1936, Total sponsor and federal funds $19,892, Months to complete 22, Average Employed 90, “Construct an open air theater including excavation and do other work incidental thereto, at the National Guard Training Camp west of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County, State owned property.” A 1944 camp magazine depicts massive crowds attending performances at the California Mission style ampitheater. The ampitheater was dismantled due to the construction of O’Sullivan Army Airfield sometime between 1969 and 1972.

Note: Camp San Luis Obispo is the “location of the Conservation Corps State Museum, located in four barracks buildings on the grounds of Camp San Luis Obispo. Opened in 1995, the museum exhibits the works of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in California. One building is a replica of a 1930s CCC barracks, including tools, uniforms and other artifacts. The museum is open by appointment. It contains the library and research center of the National Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Buildings.”

Source notes

WPA job card, Fresno Public Library
"A Picture Book of Camp San Luis Obispo"
Wikipedia: (, accessed February 04, 2018.

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on February 4, 2018.

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


Location Info

Camp San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA

Location notes: 35.324758, -120.739864 Location of the former ampitheater

Coordinates: 35.27637360000001, -120.66455280000002

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