Hastings, FL: WPA Community Cent
The former Hastings Community Center at 401 North Main Street in Hastings, Florida was constructed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression. The building was designed in the Masonry Vernacular style with Art Deco elements.
NRHP nomination form: “In February 1934, Hastings’s municipal government initiated what proved to be the town’s largest and most visible project associated with the New Deal. At a special meeting convened in the offices of the Whitehouse Barrel Company, the town’s officials and several residents gathered to discuss improving the town and providing a few temporary jobs, in part, through the use of federal funds.”
Though proposed as a project under a predecessor organization, the community center would be approved as a WPA project in October 1935. The WPA’s contribution was $21,854, and the town’s was $9,463. Groundbreaking took place in November 1935 and the building was completed in March 1937.
Unfortunately, the building has since been demolished. Per The St. Augustine Record in 2018: “For years in Hastings, the WPA [building] was the center of the community that provided space for meetings, the library, training for homemakers, scouts and more. It’s been empty since 2002 when the Red Cross moved to consolidated regional quarters elsewhere.”
“Although the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, long-term debt, hurricanes and escalating insurance premiums make demolition a wiser solution than waiting for the Rotary to gather enough funds to repurpose and save the location.”
Google Street View shows the community center under a state of partial demolition in Feb. 2019.
National Register of Historic Places nomination form:
https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/f6e8cb05-6b5d-42cd-babe-322cbecf9952/ (accessed May 23, 2022)
St. Augustine Record: "Trail Celebration postponed until spring," Oct. 18, 2018: https://www.staugustine.com/news/20181018/around-hastings-st-johns-river-to-sea-loop-summit-and-trail-celebration-postponed-until-spring (accessed May 23, 2022)
Google Street View imagery (2019): https://goo.gl/maps/aRCwDPtEybBMoiiB8
Project originally submitted by Kathleen Pagan on May 23, 2022.
Additional contributions by Evan Kalish.
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