• Taft Union High School - Taft CA
    Taft Union High School's main building was constructed with federal help under the New Deal.  It is an elegant Art Moderne (Art Deco) facility with lovely decorative elements, particularly the colored bas-reliefs (probably terra cotta). The original Taft Union HS had been built in 1917 with local funds, but the state declared it unsafe in 1934 – most likely because of the great Long Beach earthquake in 1933.  It was not torn down entirely, but reconstructed and expanded. The federal government offered a grant of $51,000 in 1935 – almost surely from the Public Works Administration (PWA).   The county passed a...
  • Putah Creek Dam (Demolished) - Winters CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) contributed to the $20,000 Putah Creek Dam project in Winters between 1936 and 1938. The dam has since been removed and the natural floodplain restored.
  • Tilden Regional Park: Golf Course - Berkeley CA
    The Tilden Park golf course was constructed by the the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) with aid of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) relief labor in 1936-37.   WPA workers first uprooted 20,000 eucalyptus from former plantations of the trees in the Berkeley Hills.  Then they prepared the land and laid out the course.  It opened in November 1937. Of the total cost of $173,000, abut $139,000 was paid out of WPA funds. The rest came from the Parks District. The course was designed by William Bell, a nationally prominent golf course architect, who was assisted by Richard Walpole, who later became...
  • Mariposa County High School - Mariposa CA
    Although initial applications for WPA help were rejected in 1935, this WPA project replaced the old Mariposa High School in 1937. A page from the 1937 yearbook described the new school: "Our move into the new school has been a great advantage to both the students and the faculty. It has made teaching a great deal easier." "Every room is supplied with the necessary conveniences that we did not have in the old school. Telephones connected with the office are in each room. There is plenty of closet space, blackboard space, and steam heist. A new system of ringing the bells also...
  • Torrance City Hall (former) - Torrance CA
    In 1936, Public Works Administration (PWA) helped to fund the Torrance City Hall (former). The former city hall cost $48,000 to build and was part of a larger Torrance Civic Center project. The Civic Center project also included a new library and auditorium building. A much larger City Hall was built in the 1970s. Since then, the former city hall building has been repurposed and has housed a Home Savings, Time Warner Cable, and most recently, the Torrance Community Credit Union. Although most of the original building remains, the original center seal, lamp posts, flower pots, flag pole, a decorative eagle sculpture...
  • Maritime National Historical Park (Aquatic Park) - San Francisco CA
    The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was originally the San Francisco Aquatic Park, created by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1936-1939. The 32 acre park included a lagoon and a bathhouse. The lagoon was ringed by breakwaters, with three small towers, a promenade and grandstand.  The bathhouse was built in the distinctive Streamline Moderne style of the late 1930s and originally housed a restaurant above and showers and dressing rooms in the basement.  The Aquatic Park was an extremely popular swimming spot for San Franciscans when it was built.   A contemporary description: "... A water park, par excellence. ......
  • Chabot Elementary School Library Building - Oakland CA
    Anthony Chabot Elementary School was originally built as the Claremont Annex School in 1927, but it was renamed in 1930 for Anthony Chabot, an early settler in Oakland who built the first city water works by damming nearby Temescal Creek. The Public Works Administration (PWA) funded a new addition to the school in 1935 and it was built in 1936 and completed in 1937.  It was called the Assembly building at the time, but now serves as the library and is known as the Annex.  It stands on the east side of the original school; both face north. We have not found...
  • Dexter Park - Kagel Canyon CA
    Kagel Canyon is a "populated place" located within the boundaries of Angeles National Forest. In 1934, the Canyon acquired the land for Dexter Park. Between 1936 and 1939, the WPA helped install a water system in the canyon including two wells that served sufficiently until after World War II. By 1937, the WPA had constructed stone and masonry retaining walls and stairways. There is still a WPA plaque in one of the park walls, though some of the buildings were recently destroyed in an earthquake.    
  • Laguna Beach High School Expansion- Laguna Beach CA
    In 1936, the New Deal funded a new gymnasium and a classroom for Laguna Beach High School. Laguna Beach High School was founded in 1934. It repurposed former Laguna Beach Elementary School buildings which were built in 1928. The New Deal funded gymnasium still stands today.
  • Prairie Creek Fish Hatchery (former) - Orick CA
    The Prairie Creek Fish Hatchery near Orick was one of the first local hatcheries developed in California to improve sport and commercial fishing. It was constructed in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on the 62-acre site of a previous hatchery.  The work included the hatchery ponds, five water tanks, a pipeline, superintendent's house, assistant's house, sidewalk, garage shop, and shed. The hatchery operated until 1992 and the site is now on the National Register of Historic Places.