Construction of the PennDOT facility on N Center Ave. in Somerset was undertaken as part of a sizable a New Deal project; the then-Department of Highways and Public Works Administration (PWA) provided the funds for the building’s construction in 1937, along with many similar structures in other parts of Pennsylvania.
The PWA provided a $52,841 grant for the project, whose total cost was $121,185.
“Construction of 19 new garage and office buildings in as many counties has just been completed by the Department of Highways … marking another forward step in the drive to develop maximum efficiency among our widespread field forces. This program was launched, immediately after inception of the present administration, to replace old sheet metal structures that were dark and dingy and difficult to heat with beautifully designed one or two-story fireproof structures with face brick exteriors. … With the problem of maintenance growing each year and with construction work constantly being extended, these centrally-located buildings are needed to provide faster and better highway service in 11 parts of the state.”
National Archives: Record Group 135: Public Works Administration; Projects Control Division; Entry 52: Indices to Non-Federal Projects; Report No. 5: Status of All Completed Non-Federal Allotted Projects, page 34.
The Plain Speaker from Hazleton, Pennsylvania: February 9, 1938 (pg. 8)
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 18, 2018.
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