Civic Auditorium, Helper UT
The Helper Civic Auditorium was built with Public Works Administration (PWA) funding in 1937. It is an outstanding example of New Deal public architecture and still the finest building to grace Helper, a small coal mining town in central Utah (there is a giant sculpture of a coal miner next to the building to remind everyone of the town’s origins).
A National Register of Historic Places plaque at the site says this:
“Built in 1937, the Helper Civic Auditorium was designed by Salt Lake City architects Carl W. Scott and George W. Welch. The building is an excellent example of the Art Moderne style also known as ‘Streamline Moderne.’… The auditorium features Art Moderne elements such as the flat roof emphasized by concrete coping and coursing, smooth masonry with curved corners, glass block, and pilasters with abstracted capitals.
“The Helper Civic Auditorium is part of the Utah Public Works Administration (PWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) [works in Utah]… one of 226 buildings (two of which were auditoriums) constructed in Utah during the 1930s and early 1940s under the WPA and other New Deal programs.”
It is unlikely that the WPA worked on this building, but more information is needed to be certain of that.
An historic photo of Helper circa 1920 shows how much the New Deal added to the town.
Project originally submitted by Don Barrett on November 30, 2015.
Additional contributions by Joan Greer.
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