- Fullerton, CA
- Site Type:
- Parks and Recreation
- New Deal Agencies:
- Work Relief Programs, Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), Works Progress Administration (WPA), Civil Works Administration (CWA), State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA)
- Johann George Seupelt
- Quality of Information:
- Very Good
- Site Survival:
Hillcrest Park in Fullerton, California was originally built in 1920 and then from 1931-1940, relief funds from the Civil Works Administration, State Emergency Relief Administration, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the Work Projects Administration helped shape the landscaping of Hillcrest Park. No buildings at Hillcrest Park were created or funded by New Deal Programs.
Hillcrest Park sits on 35.6 acres and is considered the most historically significant park in Fullerton, CA. In 1920, the City of Fullerton purchased the land for $67,300. Johann George Seupelt, a horticulturist and landscape architect, was the park’s first superintendent and designed the landscaping plans for the park.
In 1936, an impressive fountain was constructed by WPA workers. At the time, it was a popular attraction. It sprayed water 28 feet into the air and even included colored light projections. Today, it is no longer used as a fountain but serves as a planter due to its high upkeep costs.
Hillcrest Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because it contains much of its original design. It showcases rustic craftsmanship using natural materials typical of Works Progress Administration (WPA) park projects. The stones for the park were quarried from Pomona and the Imperial Valley then transported back to the park for construction.
New Deal relief also contributed to various lawns, roads, a large grassy amphitheater, and other landscaping throughout the park which helped to create its unique environment. If you visit the park, you can still see the city’s first reservoir, distinctive flagstones, and original roads in the park that were created by horse and plow.
The City of Fullerton is thought to have received the most New Deal relief in Orange County.
Deborah Richey. Fullerton Heritage. 2003. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. https://s3.amazonaws.com/NARAprodstorage/lz/electronic-records/rg-079/NPS_CA/04000812.pdf
Hillcrest Park. SoCal Landmarks. https://socallandmarks.com/index.php/2021/04/11/hillcrest-park/
Hillcrest Park. City of Fullerton. https://www.cityoffullerton.com/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/74/621?locale=en
Improvements in the City total over 360,000. Santa Ana Register. Sept 09, 1935. Page 20.
Charles Epting. The New Deal in Orange County. The History Press. 2014. Page 44, 58, 59.
Site originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on June 28, 2010.
Additional contributions by Diem Duong.
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