Randall Recreation Center Grading – Washington DC


The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was charged with two rounds of improvement of the parks and recreational facilities in Washington DC.  A major program of parks improvement was undertaken in 1935-36 and a second, lesser round occurred in the early 1940s, when the WPA was under the Federal Works Administration (FWA).

The approved works in the second round were tennis courts at Palisades Playground, Edgewood Playground, and Reservation “C” on the Mall; grading, filling, and constructing tennis courts at Turkey Thicket playground; excavating cinders from west parking area and surfacing east parking lot at Takoma Recreation Center; spreading topsoil on south field at Banneker Recreation Center; and grading at Randall Recreation Center.

The Washington Post reported the approval of these projects in October 1942. It is presumed that the work was carried out before the WPA was shut down in 1943 as the country was engaged in World War II.

It is doubtful if any trace of the WPA work from the 1940s is still visible at the Randall Recreation Center, a small park consisting mostly of a pool and field house (dates unknown).

Source notes

National Archives, Record Group 69, “Microfilmed Index to WPA Projects.”

“Lanham Act projects are approved,” Washington Post, October 15, 1942, p. B1

"What Will Happen to Randall Recreation Center?", Southwest: The Little Quadrant that Couldblog, February 19, 2013, accessed March 2015

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - wpatoday.org on June 18, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

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Location Info

820 South Capitol Street SW
Washington, DC 20024

Coordinates: 38.8801, -77.0100

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