Franklin High School Statue – “Benjamin Franklin” – Portland OR

Description

From 1939 to 1942, Portland’s Franklin High School benefitted from two different Works Progress Administration (WPA) initiatives. The first, in 1939, involved WPA workers’ construction of an athletic field as part of a larger commitment ($468,459) to the improvement of Portland public school properties. The second allowed artists from the Federal Art Project, one of the five independent branches of the Works Progress Administration, to respond to a commission funded by Franklin High School students and alumni ($15,000). Stonecutter George Berry and his assistants sculpted a fifteen feet tall (with pedestal), forty ton sandstone statue of the school’s namesake. In spring 1942, the “Statesman Scientist” was installed at the north entrance of the school overlooking the athletic field.  The pedestal includes several built-in benches as well as the quotation from Franklin, “One today is worth two tomorrows.”

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s
15000

Source notes

Barker, Neil Louis (1996) “The Works Progress Administration in Portland, Oregon: An Historical Narrative and Survey Report, 1935-1942.”  Washington State University: Masters of Arts Thesis in History. Pp. 122.

Oregonian (1939) “Work Begins on New Field,” August 15, 1939.

Oregonian (1942) “Olden Dream Comes True: School Dedicates Franklin Statue,” May 9, 1942.

Project originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on January 5, 2015.

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

Location Info

Click to open Map

5405 SE Woodward Street
Portland, OR 97206

Coordinates: 45.501852, -122.607262

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note that the Living New Deal does not have the resources to provide research services; the information we have on this page is likely to be all the information we have for this site. If you have additional information or photos to share with us, please send them to [email protected]. Although we can sometimes assist you here, our comments section is mainly intended for visitors to share information with one another. We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.

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

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.