• Adobe Office Building - Bakersfield CA
    The WPA constructed a cluster of buildings at O and Golden State streets, including a sizeble adobe office building, as well as some shop and storage buildings. The former is currently unused. Its last occupant was Kern County Parks & Recreation after they were burned out of their much newer building. Parks & Rec have been moved to a more recently acquired building. The WPA warehouse and shop buildings have served the county since the late 1930s with very little in maintenance costs. They are currently under threat of demolition.
  • Arvin Farm Labor Center (Weedpatch Camp) - Bakersfield CA
    The Resettlement Administration built this camp for migrant farm labor, and it is still in use. "Camps would be constructed to provide migratory families with minimum decencies: a healthful site, a pure water supply, sanitary facilities of all kinds, and other simple amenities. Ten to a dozen camps were planned; two were constructed by the Resettlement Administration before it was absorbed into the Farm Security Administration in 1937. One was at Marysville and the other near Weedpatch" (Lowitt, 184). While writing "The Grapes of Wrath", John Steinbeck visited Bakersfield, and based his book on the Arvin Farm Labor Camp, which in his...
  • Bakersfield Central Fire Station #1 - Bakersfield CA
    This fire station was constructed by the PWA in 1939 and remains in use today.
  • East Bakersfield Firehouse No. 2 - Bakersfield CA
    This compact, red-roofed station was built with $30,000 in federal funds.
  • East Bakersfield High School - Bakersfield CA
    Originally called Kern County High School, East Bakersfield High School was constructed by the PWA in 1938.
  • Garces Circle Statue - Bakersfield CA
    The statue "Father Garces" is State Historical Landmark No. 277. From the LA Times, 7 May 1939, "Indians will unveil, a right reverend monsignor will bless, the statue of Padre Garces at Bakersfield, 2 p.m. today. Made by John Palo-Kangas on the Federal Art Project, it is State Historical Landmark Reg. No. 277, and represents the first white man to enter the Kern region. A Garces Memorial Committee made possible the statue and will conduct today's elaborate program." The sculpture is carved from Indiana limestones on a Carnelian granite base. The figure of Garces itself is 16'4" and with the base, the...
  • Hart Memorial Park - Bakersfield CA
    New Deal relief workers were instrumental in developing the old Kern River Park – now called the Hart Memorial Park.  The workers came from the State Emergency Relief Administration  (SERA) before 1935 and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) after that. (SERA was, in turn, funded by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)) Kern County  bought 338 acres of the old Baker Ranch in 1921 to create Kern River Park. After 1927, John Oliver Hart took charge of improvements to the park.  The most important developments at the park occurred under federal funding in the 1930s.  As Gilbert says: "Park projects that were...
  • Hart Park - Bakersfield CA
    "In 1921, the County provided funds to purchase the Park property and a token sum was provided by the City for construction along with a quantity of locally donated labor and funds until 1931. As the Great Depression began to take effect and jobs became few, construction at the Park got a boost from public works funds...At times, between 1932 and 1938, 50 to 200 WPA workmen were at work in Kern Park building rock work, swimming pool, roads, curbs and the large boat lake."
  • Hart Park Adobe Structure - Bakersfield CA
    This adobe structure in Hart Park was built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), in concert with Kern County and the California State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) – using funds provided by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) to hire unemployed workers.  It is also known as the "Peacock House" for all the resident peacocks. Designed by local architect W. Francis Parsons, it is somewhat unusual in that it has a 24" raised foundation and wood floor, likely to get it above a flood plain. The original construction drawings identify it as a "Service Building", although it was designed as...
  • Kern County Airport Hangar - Bakersfield CA
    At the time, it was said to be the largest single-span hangar in California, at 132 feet deep and 200 feet long. Construction involved 50 men, and it was supervised by Cecil Meadows, superintendent at Kern County Airport. "Under direction of Supt. Cecil Meadows, one of the most important airport projects on the west coast is rapidly progressing with W.P.A. workmen on the job. It is the new reinforced concrete hangar at Kern County Airport which, when completed, will be one of the finest and largest of its type on the Coast." "Work Sped at Airport," LA Times, 13 August 1936:...
  • Kern County Fairgrounds (demolished) - Bakersfield CA
    The official birth of the Kern County Agricultural Fair was on August 5, 1916. It was located on 106 acres at Chester Avenue, two blocks north of 34th Street and just south of the Kern River Bridge. There were no buildings at that time so they used tents. The Kern County Museum and Clock Tower now stand in that location. Later during the Depression in the 1930's there was no Fair held for two years. Then in 1952 the Fair was moved from the North Chester location to the present grounds. " Kern County Fair WPA Project No. 65-3-4740, App. Date...
  • Kern River Levees - Bakersfield CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built levees along the Kern River through Bakersfield to protect the city from flooding. The Kern River Levee runs through downtown Bakersfield for approximately 7.5 miles between 24th Street and Heath Road; exactly how much of that was done by the WPA is uncertain, and the current levee has undoubtedly been upgraded over time.
  • Mosquito Abatement - Bakersfield CA
    "The Kern Mosquito & Vector Control District is an independent district formed pursuant to the California Health and Safety Code, Section 2000 et seq. The District was formed in 1916, but began control operations in August of 1917 and was originally named the Dr. Morris Mosquito Abatement District. Dr. Morris was a well-known local physician and County Health Officer who was responsible for initiating the formation of the District. The original District encompassed 48 square miles and its objective was to control mosquitoes and malaria along the Kern River and its sloughs." KMVCD WPA Project No. 165-3-8120, App. Date 5-15-37, $21,936,...
  • Oildale Standard School Auditorium - Bakersfield CA
    The Public Works Administration funded the construction of the Oildale Standard School Auditorium in Bakersfield CA. The structure has been in use as a school auditorium since completed in 1937.
  • Rosedale School - Bakersfield CA
    The construction of the Rosedale School in Bakersfield CA was funded by the Public Works Administration. The former elementary school is now a middle school.