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  • Coit Tower: Stackpole Mural - San Francisco CA
    This 10' x 36' PWAP fresco "Industries of California" by Ralph Stackpole, who was assisted by Thomas Hayes, depicts workers engaged in numerous California industries. Stackpole, primarily a sculptor, learned fresco for this project.  
  • Coit Tower: Terada Mural - San Francisco CA
    This 9' x 10' PWAP fresco "Sports" by Edward Terada is located on the second floor of Coit Tower. It is accessible only during the Saturday morning tour.  
  • Coit Tower: Vidar Mural - San Francisco CA
    The Coit Tower label for this 10' x 10' PWAP fresco "Department Store" by Frede Vidar reads as follows: "Available for purchase are fabrics, toys, wines, and music. Shoppers rest at the lunch counter where the special is advertised at 25 cents."  
  • Coit Tower: Wight Murals - San Francisco CA
    Under the auspices of the PWAP, Clifford Wight painted several 10' x 4' mural portraits for Coit Tower, including "Cowboy," "Surveyor," "Steelworker" and "Farmer." The latter is said to be a portrait of fellow artist Ralph Stackpole.
  • Coit Tower: Zakheim Mural - San Francisco CA
    The description at Coit Tower of this controversial 10' x 10' PWAP fresco "Library" by Bernard Zakheim reads: "Joining the artist in the library are family and friends. The artist is reading a Hebrew book. Fellow artist John Langley Howard reaches for a Marx book, Ralph Stackpole learns about the destruction of the Rivera mural at Rockefeller Center in New York, and Beniamino Bufano reads about his proposed St. Francis statue." In addition to the Marx volume, if you look closely you can see a number of other controversial headings in this fresco. Note also the way the real window is worked...
  • Coleville High School - Coleville CA
    Works Progress Administration (WPA) appears to have built a high school in Coleville, Mono County, California, in conjunction with the Antelope Union School District.  A WPA project card indicates that the project was approved at a cost of $3,780. The card says:   "Located on the grounds of Antelope Union School, owned by the Antelope Union School Dist. Construction of a 3-room frame school building with concrete foundations and basement. 122' long by 46' wide including heating, plumbing, etc. Sponsor: Antelope Union School District." The present Coleville High School (pictured) is a larger, more modern building than that described on the WPA card,...
  • Colfax Grammar School (former) - Colfax CA
    "The Colfax Grammar School (shown below) was built in 1940 as a Administration (WPA) building. Later it became the Colfax Elementary School. In 1986, it was acquired by the Sierra Vista Community Center, which offers classes, programs, and community events." The school has been substantially altered since its original construction and bears no direct indication of WPA involvement. However, sidewalks and retaining walls on the grounds bear at least five separate instances of WPA imprint stamps.
  • College of Marin Unnamed mural - Kentfield CA
    This 9 x 16 foot oil on canvas by Maurice Del Mue was completed in 1937 for the College of Marin science building. It remains in the original location.
  • College Street Bridge over Arroyo Seco - Los Angeles CA
    This bridge over Arroyo Seco was constructed by the PWA in 1939.
  • Colton Fire Station - Colton CA
    "Station 211, located at 303 East "E" St, was constructed in 1936 by the City of Colton and the Works Progress Administration. It is considered a historical landmark by the Historical Preservation Commission, and is Landmark No. 10. Station 211 also serves as administrative headquarters. The Fire Chief and five administrative support staff, along with six suppression personnel, work at 211. One Battallion Chief, Captain, Engineer, Firefighter, and two Paramedics respond from this station on Truck 211, and Squad 211." - City of Colton Fired Department Website
  • Columbia Airport - Sonora CA
    "Through federal aid, the Civil Conservation Corps and the support of the American Legion, the airport site was cleared off and leveled. It was officially dedicated as Ralph Airport on June 16, 1935, according to the Chispa, the quarterly magazine of the Tuolumne County Historical Society." According to a Works Progress Administration job card: WPA Project No. 65-3-1872, Amount approved $26,386, approval date 10-18-35 "Construction of Administration building and runway. Airport improvement." According to Wikipedia: "Columbia Airport covers an area of 356 acres (144 ha) which contains two runways: 17/35 is asphalt paved and measures 4,670 x 75 ft (1,423 x 23 m),...
  • Columbia Elementary School - Columbia CA
    Columbia elementary received additions via the Works Progress Administration shortly after its construction 1937. This Italianate-style building appears in very good condition. The facility was built in the current location in 1936 replacing the one-room school that served during the towns existence as a major gold mining area in the mid to late 19th century, most likely in line with the New Deal sponsored archaeological research that resulted in the town being changed into a state park in 1946. In 2007, major additions were added to the campus and the 1937 building has become just an additional classroom or administration...
  • Columbus Ave. - San Francisco CA
    The WPA worked on Columbus Ave. between Montgomery St. and Bay St.
  • Commerce High School Athletic Field - San Francisco CA
    Built the playing field consisting of running track, 2 high jumps, pole vault, shot put, broad jump, pit and runway, equipment house; remodeled training quarters; surfaced basketball court and painted grandstands--Healy, p.72. This facility operated as the High School of Commerce Athletic Field until 1952. By 1980, it had been razed to make room for the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. A plaque on the corner of the building at Hayes and Van Ness now commemorates the dynamic history of this city block.
  • Commonwealth Post Office - Fullerton CA
    The Commonwealth Post Office in Fullerton, California was funded by the Department of the Treasury and constructed in 1939 in only 7 months. This New Deal project provided work for 40 men.  At the time, it was the City of Fullerton’s first and only post office until 1962. It was also the first building in the city that was federally owned.  The post office was designed by the Office of the Supervising Architecture. It is a beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival building. The Post Office still exists today and still houses a mural called “Orange Pickers” by Paul Julian.  The Commonwealth Post Office is...
  • Commonwealth Post Office Mural - Fullerton CA
    The oil-on-canvas mural Orange Pickers by Paul Julian is the only Works Progress Administration (WPA) post office mural in Orange County. It was painted in 1941 or 1942 at the Federal Arts Studio in Los Angeles and then installed in the lobby of the post office in 1942.  The 6 foot by 13 foot mural depicts images of Fullerton industries including citrus, oil and aviation. The style of the mural is known as regionalism which was very popular during this time period. This mural was Julian’s last public arts project. Julian then went on to have a successful career in the...
  • Community Building - Pomona CA
    SERA Project #1E B3 737: "This project opened December 21, 1934 and consisted of the construction of a one-story frame and stucco community building with shingle roof. It also consisted of grading and landscaping the grounds around the building." The project ended on May 13, 1935.
  • Community Center and Historical Museum - El Monte CA
    In 1937, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a community center and adjoining public library (today's Historical Museum) in El Monte, CA. The adobe-style structures were built of reinforced concrete and stucco. The community center originally housed city offices, meeting rooms for clubs and organizations, a pair of auditoriums with capacities of 250 and 600, as well as a large kitchen and several kitchenettes. Today, the community center houses administrative offices and meeting rooms available for public use. According to his daughter, JoAnn Ells Ebele, El Monte's Depression-era City Engineer Joseph C. Ells traveled to Washington, D.C., to secure the approval of...
  • Community Gardens (former) - Alhambra CA
    Three different community gardens were built under one State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) project in the cities of Alhambra (at Orange & Fremont streets), Pomona, and Arcadia. The gardens are no longer extant.
  • Community Regional Park - Arcadia CA
    In 1938, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) converted Ross Field, a World War balloon training school for more than 3,500 military personnel located in Arcadia, CA, into a public park. They constructed a golf course, swimming pool, and tennis courts. "Before opening day Oct. 12, 1938, the WPA crew christened each golf hole: The fifth is 'Railroad' because it paralleled the Pacific Electric tracks; the 11th is 'Wind' because the prevailing wind blows in players' faces, and the 16th is 'Clubhouse Turn' because it was the first turn on pioneer Lucky Baldwin's original racetrack site. A plaque paying tribute to the...
  • Company Officers Quarters - Novato CA
    '... sixteen identical company officers quarters. Each unit will accommodate 1 officer and his famly and is a 1-story-and-basement building with reinforced concrete foundations, stuccoed hollow-tile wallas and a roof covered with Spanish tiel... All of the buildings at Hamilton Filed have been carried out in the Mediterranean type of architecture.' (PWA: $657,205; total: $146,000)
  • Compton College Auditorium - Compton CA
    The auditorium at Compton College (formerly Compton Junior College) in Compton, CA, was constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) after the campus suffered damage in the devastating 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Construction of the auditorium had begun under the California State Relief Administration (SRA); it was completed by the WPA at a federal cost of $8,345 and $24,578 total. It is possible the WPA was also responsible for building the College's main building and women's gym. It is unclear if these structures have survived ongoing construction at Compton College funded by the November 2002 passage of Measure CC—which authorized the issuance...
  • Compton High School Improvements - Compton CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) completed a series of improvements and construction projects at Compton High School in Compton, CA. WPA laborers constructed the school auditorium; the women's gymnasium; and a 50' x 100' pool and bath house with showers, toilets, dressing rooms, etc. Compton High School was demolished in 2021 to allow for the construction of a modern campus, scheduled to open in 2025.
  • Conley Grammar School - Taft CA
    'The elementary classes of the Conley School District of Taft, California, occupied a two-story brick building which was declared unsafe because of earthquake and fire hazard... The remodeling program called for removal of the second floor, which was an auditorium, strengthening of brick walls and modernizing the remaining one-story structure so that its architecture would be consistent with a new one-story auditorium and class room building to be erected on adjoining space.' - 'The Architect and Engineer,' July 1937, pp. 20 - 21
  • Cooper Amphitheater - Auburn CA
    This 1930s WPA amphitheater in the Auburn School Park Preserve was recently restored and is still used for local events.
  • Corcoran Union High School - Corcoran CA
    Corcoran Union High School was constructed in 1939 through the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works. The facility has since been expanded with numerous additions into a larger educational campus.
  • Cornell School Addition - Albany CA
    'Build new addition to Cornell school building and install playground benches.' - 'Classification by County of California Works Projects,' California WPA, 1935
  • Corona Avenue Elementary School - Bell CA
    Corona Avenue Elementary School, which opened in 1926, was rebuilt with funding from the Public Works Administration (PWA) between 1934 and 1935. Architect Richard Nuetra helped transform Corona into an “experimental” school by designing huge sliding glass patio walls. Corona Avenue Elementary has since become an historical landmark. In January 1934, the PWA allocated $9,380,000 to the Los Angeles Unified School District for the rehabilitation of schools damaged in the severe 1933 Long Beach earthquake.  One hundred and thirty schools would benefit from the system-wide loan and grant, with 2,500 men to be employed in rehabilitation work over 21 months. Upon receiving news...
  • Corona Creek Elementary School Improvements - Petaluma CA
    This may have been the Waugh School, which benefited from several WPA projects. The WPA installed a new foundation, strengthened and reinforced the framing of the building, added a new stucco exterior, and reroofed and repainted it.
  • Corona Heights Playground - San Francisco CA
    Made a start on what is to be an important unit of the group of playgrounds. Photographs show the rugged character of the country being remoulded for recreational needs.--Healy, p. 66.
  • Corona Heights Playground (Peixotto Playground) - San Francisco CA
    Tennis court and playground construction along 15th Street beginning with cliff shoring, earth-moving work atop Corona Heights (once called Red Rock Hill), photographed on Jan 21, 1937. The flattened areas just north of the hill's summit rock outcrop and high above the playground were created by this effort. Photo marked "To Level Off Hill to Prevent Slide – City and WPA officials have taken steps to level the crest of Red Rock Hill (sic) to prevent tons of dirt from rolling down on houses pictured under the cliff here." Healy report entry says: "Made a start on what is to be an important...
  • Coronado High School - Coronado CA
    This Works Progress Administration (WPA) building is also the site of the "Legend of California" relief panels, sculpted in 1939 by Donald Hord for the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Coronado High School Reliefs - Coronado CA
    These seven 6' x 9' relief panels are carved from Indiana limestone and were intended for the school library. "The Legend of California is a set of seven incised relief panels carved from Indiana limestone for the Library of the Coronado High School. Dedicated in February of 1941, the central panel depicts the mythical Amazonian Queen Calafia, after whom California was named. The side panels depict the various ethnic groups that have made up the population of the state. The Legend of California was executed under the sponsorship of the Federal Government Works Progress Administration." (https://content.cdlib.org)
  • Coronado Public Library - Coronado CA
    This 59" high woven tapestry "Fruits of the Earth" was designed by Donal Hord, and woven by Marian Kendall, V. Kelley, and F. Manchester. It was created in 1939 with support from the WPA Federal Art Project. It originally hung at the San Diego Administration Center.
  • Cotton Auditorium - Fort Bragg CA
    The Cotton auditorium stands adjacent to the Fort Bragg Middle School (formerly Fort Bragg High School).  It was completed in 1938 with Public Works Administration (PWA) funding and named after Principal Joel Cotton in 1939. It was restored in 2006. The style of Cotton Auditorium, which is rather unusual for New Deal era civic structures, is typical of lumber towns like Fort Bragg in the redwood country of California's North Coast.  
  • County Administration Center - San Diego CA
    "In December 1926, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring 'the necessity for the erection of a public building' for both the City and the County. As a result, three countywide votes were taken to approve the tidelands site for construction of the Civic Center, but three countywide bond votes to secure the necessary funding were defeated. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized $1 million to be granted from the Works Progress Administration to construct the Civic Center after a personal tour of the site…. "Four San Diego architects, William Templeton Johnson, Richard S. Requa, Louis J. Gill,...
  • County Finance Building Improvements - Martinez CA
    The Works progress Administration (WPA) installed a new vault and made other  improvements to the Contra Costa County Finance Building in 1935-36, and perhaps later. According to WPA Project Cards from the National Archives, the vault was to be built of reinforced concrete and lined with steel and additional work was to be done to partition off additional space for the Treasurer's office.  The total amount allocated for the project was around $5,000. We know that improvement work was done because of reports in the Contra Costa Gazette.  One notes that additional painting was done on the county assessor and school administration...
  • County Jail (former) Improvements - Martinez CA
    In 1938, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) made improvements to the former Contra Costa County jail, which stands just behind the old courthouse (the present Finance Building) at 625 Court Street.  According to a WPA Project Card from the National Archives, the work involved painting the interior and exterior of the jail and the project was approved for $14,888; but because the card appears to combine painting work at the jail with painting the Hall of Records (in the present Taylor courthouse), it is unclear how much was allocated to the jail. The jail was constructed in 1901 and had its entrance...
  • County Library Branch - Visalia CA
    The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided the funding for the Visalia branch public library, built in 1936. The design is Mission Revival, with tile roof, stucco walls and exposed beams. It has four wings extending from a central entrance with a raised roof. In 1926 the city of Visalia offered to furnish a site and pay one-half the cost of a new library branch, but the county declined the offer. Then the PWA stepped in and the building was constructed as a city library.  In 1961, an addition was made to the south wing. In 1976, a new joint Tulare County/Visalia City...
  • County Office Building (former) - Arvin CA
    Originally built by the WPA in 1942 as a group of Arvin county office buildings, the adobe complex is now a business incubator and retail complex. A local newspaper of the time had this to say: "Another large project reaching completion this month is the county office building in Arvin, This group of buildings, including a sizable auditorium, will afford the citizens of that community with a central location for the efficient conduct of county business." - Dart The building has had some remodeling recently.
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