Rose City Golf Course - Portland OR
Rose City Golf Course, constructed adjacent to a middle-class residential development in 1923, was the second public golf course in Portland and the state of Oregon. In 1937, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) redesigned the first nine-holes, rebuilding the greens and lengthening the course by 450 yards, and added rock walls and stone curbs along 72nd Drive. Local basalt rock served as the landscaping material, as was the case in many WPA projects.
City of Portland records indicate that approximately $38,000 was spent by the WPA on the Rose City Golf Course landscaping and redesign. WPA funding for these improvements was part of a larger effort on the part of the city’s Supervisor of Parks, Charles P. Keyser, to maintain services to Portland residents as the Depression had a debilitating effect on park development for over a decade.
The Rose City Golf Club website acknowledges the New Deal work: “Works Progress Administration (WPA) Project No. 353 to grade and construct new greens…WPA Project No. 1457 to trim trees, remove brush and rocks, fill holes, and convert selected unlandscaped areas to fairways and greens…WPA Project No. 1747 to improve greens, clean and grub fairways, construct new greens, water line, rock walls and rock curb, widen and resurface road, remove and plant trees, shrubs and other pertinent work.”
Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge, there is no plaque or other sign on the grounds to indicate the federal aid to the city parks department during the New Deal.
(Note: we are not sure that the photographs here are of the portions of the course improved by the WPA workers)
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City of Portland (1939) “Summary of WPA Projects: Sept. 1935 – Jan. 1939.” Ben S. Morrow, City Engineer.
“Carson to Open New Golf Scene,” The Oregonian, July 9, 1937.
Portland Parks & Recreation (2010), “Open Space & Park Development: 1851-1965.” January 2010.
Project originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on January 6, 2015.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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