Seawall – Hampton Beach NH


The PWA was involved in construction of a seawall along the Atlantic coast of New Hampshire, in particular, the Hampton Beach resort area. Up to the advent of the New Deal, the condition of the very popular Hampton Beach area was in rather dilapidated condition due to storms, tides, river currents, erosion, and piecemeal work by the local authorities which resulted in a loss of property of half a million dollars due to its nature as a sand barrier island.

In 1932 under the Hampton Beach Development Commission & engineer and planner Warren Manning, and the transfer of control from local authorities to the state at a special town meeting in April 1933, voters approved the draft of the land transfer proposal by a 5-to-1 margin. The legislature then passed the measure and it became part of chapter 159 of the state laws. A July special town meeting finalized the legislation. In October, the selectmen signed the quitclaim deed conveying the land to the State, and the community’s long battle against the sea was nearing a solution.

Work on the 3,900-foot North Beach breakwater, running from the Coast Guard station south to Winnacunnet Road, began in April 1934 under a $219,000 contract awarded to Warren Bros. Construction Company of Boston, and the concave wall was completed by August. Homer Johnson, under a subcontract, used his eight trucks to haul 57 carloads of cement, 20,000 tons of granite block, and 8,000 yards of gravel for the breakwater project. Much of the seawall has since been reconstructed.

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s

Source notes

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 15.

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on December 15, 2014.

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


Location Info

12 11th St
Hampton Beach, NH 03842

Coordinates: 42.935006, -70.796736

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