Enderis Pergola Today
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built park facilities at the Enderis Playing Field in Milwaukee. One among many parks built and improved by the WPA in Milwaukee, the Enderis Playing field is still in use today. The land, which the city purchased in 1931, was initially part of the Gale Crest Park subdivision, a sparsely populated area annexed by the city of Milwaukee in 1927.
The park is named after Dorothy Enderis, who led the Recreation Division of the Milwaukee Public Schools. Together with Gilbert Clegg, she devised the 1937 Milwaukee park improvements plan. The list of projects to be completed included “an expansion of the Fourth Ward Playground at 19th and Kilbourn, a new fieldhouse at the Kinnickinnic Playground at KK and Nevada (pending WPA funding), fencing at Mount Vernon Playground at 65th Street and the continuation of work at two parks: one at the Parklawn housing project and the other at the playground at N. 72nd and West Chambers Streets.” (Tanzilo 2018)
According to On Milwaukee, in the 1937 annual report, Clegg was describing the progress made on the Enderis playground construction by WPA crews: “’the most important WPA playground project now underway is the improvement of the enlarged playfield at North 72nd and West. Chambers Streets. Much of the underdraining is in, the rough grading is done, a concrete wading pool has been built and a retaining wall and service building are under construction.’” The park was initially built as a playground, but later became a playing field as facilities for ages 15+ plus were added. Four tennis courts were built in 1938.
Bobby Tanzilo, On Milwaukee, Urban Spelunking: New Deal-era Enderis Playfield is a WPA gem, 2018.
Project originally submitted by Bobby Tanzilo on July 30, 2018.
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