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  • Alvarado Area of Wildcat Canyon Park: Stone Lamp Posts - Richmond CA
    The New Deal made major improvements to the former Alvarado Park on the east side of Richmond CA, where Wildcat Creek tumbles out of the East Bay hills. Alvarado Park was transferred by the city of Richmond to the East Bay Regional Park District in 1985 and is now the "Alvarado Area" of Wildcat Canyon Park.     The park is known for its New Deal stonework, done chiefly by Italian immigrant masons, including a massive stone arch bridge across Wildcat Creek, stone light standards along roads and paths, and picnic facilities and stone stoves. The stonework is remarkable enough for the park...
  • Amador County Courthouse (former) - Jackson CA
    The Amador County courthouse and Hall of Records in Jackson CA was rebuilt in 1939-40 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  The previous courthouse and Hall of Records on the site, built side by side in 1863, were completely remodeled and joined into a single building.   The architect was George Sellon, who turned brick Romanesque structures into a fine example of Art Moderne design.  There is a plaque in the foyer that credits everyone but the WPA for the 1940 remodel. This courthouse was replaced by a new superior court building across town in 2007 and has been sitting empty ever...
  • Amador Valley High School - Pleasanton CA
    The school was originally established in 1923.
  • Anaheim High School - Anaheim CA
    The school was first established in 1898, but was heavily damaged in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Reconstruction was undertaken with the help of the WPA. The new art deco style main building, library and auditorium were dedicated in 1936.
  • Analy Hall (SRJC) - Santa Rosa CA
    Santa Rosa Junior College's Analy Hall was constructed by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. The building is still in use today.
  • Analy High School - Sebastopol CA
    "The school population from Sebastopol and outlying areas gradually increased. By 1935 a new school was built as a WPA project on the same site as the original school, serving students that were bussed from all the outlying communities, the Russian River area, and as far away as Cazadero." - Sebastopol There are also several 1941 WPA stamps impressed in the sidewalk on the west side of Vaughn Lane alongside the school, approximately at these coordinates: 38.407220,-122.827004.
  • Andrew Jackson Elementary School - Altadena CA
    Andrew Jackson Elementary School was rebuilt by the Public Works Administration in 1935. It was one of 27 schools in the Pasadena Unified School District to be either rebuilt, demolished, or reinforced by the PWA or the Works Progress Administration (WPA) following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.  
  • Angel Island Building 21 - Tiburon CA
    Excavate below first floor of Building #21, underpin walls and piers of Building #21, and carry to solid bearing. Install complete drying room with lines, fans and louvres. Provide adequate room for ten-chair barber shop installation. Cut exterior doors, build stairs, walks and hand rails to provide access to laundry trays, showers and drying rooms from first and second floors of Barracks Building #21.--Mooser, p. 94.
  • Angel Island Building Repairs - Tiburon CA
    Remove present sanitary and water lines and replace with new material. Replace plumbing fixtures, install hollow tile walls, partitions, tiling, electrical wiring and fixtures, ornamental iron, and necessary carpentry, concrete, lath, and plaster work. Remove old window frames and doors and replace with new.--Mooser, p. 92-93.
  • Angel Island Fire Trails - Tiburon CA
    Remove approximately one mile of existing old telephone line and replace with new poles and wire. Cut fire trails under existing telephone line and transmission line from Quarantine Station to a point on the North East of the Island. Resurface 2,000 lineal feet of road from quarters No. 4 to Military Road--Mooser, p. 85.
  • Angel Island Sanitation and Grounds Improvements - Tiburon CA
    Razed water tanks; removed underground water pipes, landscaped grounds, built bulkhead and walks.--Healy, p. 73. Razing water tanks and removal of underground water pipes. Landscaping of Immigration Grounds; ditching around buildings, construction of incinerator; leveling of European Recreation Grounds; construction of cement bulkhead and walks. Tearing out shower bath in hospital.--Mooser, p. 79.
  • Angel Island Water Tanks - Tiburon CA
    Construction of two 500,000 gallon square reservoir concrete slab bottom and sides with corrugated iron roofs, also 1,000 feet of 6 galvanized iron pipe to connect with existing water distribution lines. All necessary excavation, backfill and drainage installation.--Mooser, p. 94.
  • Angeles Crest Highway - Los Angeles CA
    "When Franklin D.Roosevelt was elected in 1933, his Works Progress administration (WPA) put Pasadenans to work on park, flood control,and utility projects.They improved Brookside Park for the Chicago White Sox,who set up spring training there.The most momentous WPA project was the Arroyo Seco Parkway, started in the late1930’s to link Pasadena with Los Angeles.Another noted road was the Angeles Crest Highway, which snaked into the San Gabriel Mountains and reached Chilao (beyond Mt.Wilson) by 1939."   (www.pasadena.edu)
  • Angeles Mesa Elementary School Renovation - Los Angeles CA
    Angeles Mesa Elementary School, which opened in 1917, was renovated with funding from the Public Works Administration (PWA) between 1934 and 1935. 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 of the PWA allocation, Board of Education member Arthur Eckman told the Los Angeles Times, “I am sure that every member of the board agrees with...
  • Angeles National Forest Headquarters - Arcadia CA
    The Angeles National Forest Headquarters in Arcadia, CA, was the former site of a Department of Agriculture warehouse constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Built with $4,834 in federal funds and $1,973 in sponsor contributions, the seven-month project employed an average of 29 men per month. It is unclear if the warehouse is extant.
  • Ann Street Elementary School Mural – Los Angeles CA
    Artist Adrien Machefert painted a mural, "Pilgrim's Harvest Festival," at Ann Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, CA. He was funded by the Federal Arts Project (FAP). "Adrien Machefert, a man past fifty, was born in San Jose, California, and started drawing for San Francisco newspapers at the age of seventeen. Following fourteen years doing portrait and landscape painting on the Island of Majorca, Mr. Machefert returned two and a half years ago to California and has since been working for FAP most of the time" (Wells, p. 22). Machefert's other New Deal–funded murals in the region include "All Nations" at Ninth...
  • Anna Yates Elementary School - Emeryville CA
    The WPA reconstructed and earthquake-proofed the school in 1935.
  • Annapolis Road - Sonoma County CA
    The WPA graded and widened a portion of this mountainous road along the canyon of the Gualala River. They also constructed a major bridge at Clarks Crossing, improved a recreational and farm-to-market road in nearby valley and coastal districts. Employed men mostly from Kashia Indian Reservation.
  • Anza Branch Library Frieze - San Francisco CA
    This frieze on the ceilings of the library's reading rooms depicts "Flowers and Animals" and was funded by the FAP and WPA. The artist is currently unknown to the Living New Deal. The library itself was completed in 1932, but is very similar in design to what soon after became known as the WPA style.
  • Applegate Park - Merced CA
    "n 1937, the Merced City Council applied for a Works Progress Administration project to construct a new park -- a park that would cost about $41,000 total, with the city providing $9,800 and the federal government $30,800. Included in the new park would be seven acres of lawn, more than a mile of water pipe, demolition of the grandstand and bleachers in the old park's athletic field, a new fence, pens for animals and birds, duck pond, and deer shed, along with trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping... The project required 590 man-months of labor, according to G.E. Winton, the city engineer at...
  • Aptos High School - Aptos CA
    Still unsure what exactly was built by a New Deal agency. More documentation needed.
  • Aptos Middle School - San Francisco CA
    Constructed with PWA funds.
  • Aptos Playground - San Francisco CA
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) worked to develop Aptos Playground in San Francisco during the Great Depression.
  • Aquatic Park - Berkeley CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the mile-long Berkeley Aquatic Park on the bay front south of University Avenue in 1935-37.  It was created as a water park for water skiing, canoeing, sculling and model yacht racing, and is still used for practice by collegiate rowers and for water sports. The park lies between the freeway (Interstate 80) and the former Southern Pacific Railroad tracks (now Union Pacific).  Tidal gates under the freeway keep the water level constant and refresh the basin with water from San Francisco Bay.  The aquatic park project grew out of the Eastshore Highway, a feeder road for the...
  • Aquatic Park Bathhouse (Maritime Museum): Ayer Murals - San Francisco CA
    Richard Ayer's bas relief "Nautical Abstractions" is composed of paint on plaster with embedded rope and piping. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Aquatic Park in San Francisco. Ayer also painted the mural "Tugboats" installed on the third floor above the east door. Both pieces were completed in 1939 with the help of FAP funds.
  • Aquatic Park Bathhouse (Maritime Museum): Bufano Sculptures - San Francisco CA
    Beniamino Bufano's brown granite sculptures of, respectively, a seal and a frog were completed in 1942 with the help of FAP funds. They are available for view on the bayside exterior porch.
  • Aquatic Park Bathhouse (Maritime Museum): Hiler Murals - San Francisco CA
    This oil-on-plaster "Prismatarium" mural was designed by Hilaire Hilel to give "striking demonstrations on the relationship of color and light." It covers the walls and ceiling of a circular room on the west side of the building. Originally, the light fixture revolved. Several other artists also worked on this mural with Hiler. Hilaire also created the massive 10' x 100' mural entitled "Lost Continents of Atlantis and Mu," a "wax-emulsion variation of the Gambier-Parry spirit fresco process," was completed in 1939 with the help of FAP funds. It covers all 4 walls of the main hall.
  • Aquatic Park Bathhouse (Maritime Museum): Johnson Mural - San Francisco CA
    This 14' x 125' glazed tile "Sea Forms" mural was created by Sargent Johnson in 1939 with the help of FAP funds. The east end is incomplete because of artist protests over plans for a private restaurant on the site.  
  • Aquatic Park Bathhouse (Maritime Museum): Johnson Reliefs - San Francisco CA
    Sargent Johnson's 30' x 14' "Sea Form Marquee" frieze of incised green slate at the Aquatic Park in San Francisco was completed in 1939 with FAP funds. Johnson also created a 3′ x 5′ ceramic lintel bas relief on the 4th floor, above the door to the "Radio Room."
  • Aquatic Park Bathhouse (Maritime Museum): Nunemaker Mural - San Francisco CA
    This 6' x 32' oil-on-canvas "Sepia Seascape" mural by Charles Nunemaker was completed in 1940 with FAP funds.
  • Aquatic Park Bathhouse Blue Room - San Francisco CA
    The Blue Room is one of the original dining areas in the WPA Aquatic Park Bathhouse building, within the Aquatic Park NHL District. Original drawings refer to this circular room on the eastern side of the second level as “restaurant.” There is no known record as to how it became known as the Blue Room, but a matchbook cover from the Aquatic Park Casino (the controversial restaurant in residence at the time of the building’s opening in 1939) invited one to “Dine in the Blue Room.” Lead artist Hilaire Hiler described this room as follows in a document titled “Aquatic Park...
  • Arcata Ballpark - Arcata CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) developed a municipal baseball park in Arcata, California, just north of the City Hall.  The work was first approved in 1936, finalized in 1937 and then completed in 1938 (WPA funding was greatly reduced in 1937 and then pumped up again in 1938). This is full-sized ball park, with a grandstand behind home plate, has been upgraded over time, but the entrance and barrier behind the grandstand appear to be original (wood).  The bleachers, lights, field and fencing all appear to be much newer.  It is still in use (and hard to view because the fencing...
  • Arch Rock Tunnel - Feather River Canyon CA
    Arch Rock Tunnel is one of three tunnels built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) along the Feather River Highway in northeast California.  The tunnels were the final pieces in the construction of the Feather River highway (highway 70) by the State of California (1928-37). Arch Rock tunnel is the southern-most tunnel of the three and the shortest. The tunnels were blasted through solid granite in and around Grizzly Dome. Rock from the tunnels was used for rock safety walls along the highway.
  • Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve: Amphitheater - Guerneville CA
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) did extensive improvements at Armstrong State Park, 1933 to 1941.    The most impressive of the CCC works is a large amphitheater, which was under renovation during a visit in December 2022.    Many other features of the CCC's work remain, as well, such as stone stoves, stone drinking fountains, water lines, trails and the old community center.  Some buildings near the park entrance may be left over from the CCC camp.  In 1990, an informational plaque at the front of the park  was installed by members of the National Association of CCC Alumni, Luther Burbank Chapter 131.  But...
  • Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve: Improvements - Guerneville CA
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) did extensive improvements at Armstrong State Park, 1933 to 1941.   Over the years, CCC Companies 594, 1553. 1920, 1988 and 2916 were stationed at Camp Armstrong, SP-39 (originally known as Camp Armstrong Woods, P-804), which was located by the present entrance to the park.  The enrollees built an amphitheater, a community building (including warden's headquarters), picnic areas with stone stoves and tables of redwood, a timber bridge, two miles of road improvements, cleared underbrush, and made general improvements to park grounds and other facilities (Goddard 1976). Many of those features remain.  The amphitheater was under renovation during a...
  • Arroyo de la Laguna Bridge - Sunol CA
    The Arroyo de la Laguna Bridge across Alameda Creek in Sunol was built with the aid of the New Deal in 1939. The bridge is located on Highway 84 (Niles Canyon Road) just east of the Main Street turnoff into the town of Sunol, which is best known as the site of a "Water Temple" where the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct enters the Bay Area and the eastern station for the rebuilt Niles Canyon tourist railroad. Arroyo de la Laguna bridge is a plain concrete span of about 100 feet, with the balustrades typical of the interwar period, and it has the...
  • Arroyo Seco Flood Control - Pasadena CA
    The WPA was extensively involved in flood control construction in Arroyo Seco during the 1930s. Excerpts of WPA involvement in that history follow: 1934-35: Trapezoidal channel is constructed in the Central Arroyo from Devils Gate Dam through the Rose Bowl area to Holly Street with a soft bottom as part of a CWA, SERA, WPA project. 1935: The Works Progress Administration takes over the gravel operation in LA, designating it as a flood control project sponsored by the city of Los Angeles. Trapezoidal cross-section construction chosen since it minimized steel and lumber and maximized hand labor, satisfying requirements of relief funding. 1935-40: The...
  • Arroyo Seco Park - Los Angeles CA
    The Annual Report of the Board of the Los Angeles Park Commissioners stated in their 1932-1933 report that the Arroyo Seco Parkway was at the time the third largest park in Los Angeles with 276.1 acres. "A new roadway was built by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation some 1800 feet long which involved the removal of 2000 cubic yards of dirt and the installation of 2600 feet of curbing. General grading consisted of widening and straightening the river channel, placing rip-rap on both banks and using the dirt to fill in areas for lawn and buildings. A group of service buildings...
  • Arroyo Seco Parkway - Los Angeles CA
    Both the WPA and the PWA along with a number of local agencies were involved in the construction of the Arroyo Seco Parkway which was mostly completed by 1940. It is 8.2 miles long with 18 bridges. "The Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway) was the first divided-lane, high-speed, limited-access road in the urban western United States and the first stretch of road for what would become the extensive Los Angeles freeway network. The approximately six-mile initial stage of the 8.2-mile roadway, completed in 1940, was envisioned as both a scenic road traversing the Arroyo and a vital traffic conduit linking the...
  • Arroyo Seco Parkway Sidewalk and Stairs - Los Angeles CA
    This narrow concrete sidewalk and stairway connecting Solano Avenue and Academy Road was built by the WPA in 1941. Located along the Arroyo Seco Parkway near the Solano Ave. Elementary School.
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