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  • Berkeley Rose Garden - Berkeley CA
    The Berkeley Rose Garden lies on the west side of Euclid Avenue in the Berkeley Hills. It was constructed in the little valley of Codornices Creek, which emerges in a viewing pool at the bottom of the garden.  The rose garden was likely begun by the Civil Works Administration (CWA) in 1933-34, as they built the adjoining ball courts.  But the Rose Garden itself was a project of  the Works Progress Administration (WPA), completed in 1940.    "The Garden is designed like an amphitheater with wide stone terraces facing magnificent views of San Francisco Bay. A semicircular redwood pergola, which extends...
  • Berkeley Yacht Club Boat House - Berkeley CA
    The National Youth Administration (NYA) constructed the boat house of the Berkeley Yacht Club in 1939.
  • Bernal Heights Boulevard and Park - San Francisco CA
    Cost $255,547, for Alabama to Esmeralda Streets. Work consisted of building 1,890 lineal feet of sewer with catch basins and manholes, 12,890, lineal feet of redwood curb, 19,050 square feet of 6 inch concrete pavement. Placed 714 tons of 2 inch wearing surface, resloped all cuts and redressed all sidewalks. It formed a circular road around the Heights district making accessible a large number of interesting streets, difficult of approach before, and providing a fine Marine view--Healy, p. 47.
  • Bernal Heights Library - San Francisco CA
    The beautiful Bernal Heights Library on Cortland Avenue in San Francisco was built in 1940 by the Works Projects Administration (WPA), after it had become part of the Federal Works Administration (FWA) in 1939. The library is built of reinforced concrete and finished in Mission Revival style with stucco exterior and tile roof.  The interior features lofty ceilings, large windows, and lovely hanging light fixtures. The floors, entrance and bathrooms are all tiled and the ceiling beams are hand-painted in abstract designs.   The shelving and furniture appear to be the original, made of solid oak, and the layout looks to be...
  • Bernal Recreation Center - San Francisco CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the Bernal Recreation Center in San Francisco in 1939-1940.  It sits just behind and below the Bernal Heights Public Library. Work consisted of excavating and grading 1,492 cubic yards of rock and soil, building 75 feet of rubble wall (18 inches by 4 feet), and paving 16,000 square feet of playgr0und area. Notably, the report on WPA work in San Francisco made a point that the combination of the library and playground on the same property was ."... combining the benefits of physical and mental recreation.(Healy, p. 64). The WPA built rock walls are still visible above...
  • Berrellessa Street Extension - Martinez CA
    In 1936, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) extended Berrellessa Street several blocks into the waterfront on the west end of town, which was the long-time neighborhood of Italian/Sicilian fishermen plying their trade on the Sacramento River and San Francisco Bay.   The neighborhood had housing, warehouses, a wharf and processing operations. Some of these remain, but not the wharf. There is a memorial to the Italian fisherman of Martinez over by the public marina, but not here (see below for link to local fishermen singing folk songs, 1939). The WPA project included considerable rock and soil fill over former wetlands into the...
  • Berryman Reservoir Improvements - Berkeley CA
    This reservoir was built just south of Cordonices Park in Berkeley by Henry Berryman in 1877. It was still open to the air when the WPA worked on it in the 1930s, but was later enlarged and covered over with cement. It is currently being replaced because of fears that it might rupture in an earthquake.
  • Best Slough Bridge - Wheatland CA
    The bridge carrying Ostrom Rd. over Best Slough in Wheatland, California was 1 of 7 bridges widened in Yuba County, California as part of a $50,000 federal grant during the Great Depression.
  • Beverly Hills High School Swim Gym - Beverly Hills CA
    While the main buildings of Beverly Hills High School date to 1927, the unique "Swim Gym" was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1939. Designed by Stiles O. Clements, the gym features a basketball court that can be opened to access a 25-yard swimming pool below. It has appeared in films such as It's a Wonderful Life and Clueless.  
  • Beverly Hills High School: Napolitano Mural – Beverly Hills CA
    In 1937, artist P. G. Napolitano painted a fresco panel for Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, CA. The fresco, located in the school's music room, was funded by the Federal Art Project (FAP). “Mr. Napolitano’s main interest has always been in murals, which he executes in tempra (egg white), in frescoes, and in Sgraffito which he introduced here in creative work. Much of his work is marked by the omission of pretty detail and mere decorativeness until only the essential stand out; economy of line, rhythm, and strength are the three uppermost qualities” (Wells, p. 22). Napolitano's other FAP...
  • Bidwell Bowl Amphitheater - Chico CA
    The Bidwell Bowl amphitheater sits along Big Chico Creek on the California State University, Chico campus.  It was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938, no doubt in conjunction with improvements the WPA was making in Bidwell Park at the time (just upstream). The campus website provides the following information: "Built as a WPA project in 1938, the amphitheater known as the Bidwell Bowl was one of many ventures in Chico that created work for people during the depression. Located on the bank of the creek, next to the Physical Science building, the Bidwell Bowl had been used for various...
  • Bidwell Park Improvements - Chico CA
    Chico's Bidwell Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. It follows the course of Big Chico Creek for several miles into the foothills.  The park land was originally donated to the city early in the 20th century by the widow of Chico's founder, John Bidwell. New Deal agencies made several improvements to the park in the 1930s. It appears that State Emergency Recovery Agency (SERA) workers did road gravelling in the park, and worked on bathhouses and repair of the superintendent's residence–SERA was funded in part by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FEMA). At the upper end of the park, the Works Progress Administration (WPA)...
  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park Improvements - Boulder Creek CA
    During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) installed a camp at Big Basin, California's first state park (1901), and built a variety of facilities for public recreation.   Big Basin was saved through the efforts of Sempervirens Club (now Fund), as one of the last and largest groves of giant coast redwoods left in the Santa Cruz Mountains. CCC men built the park headquarters (1936), an amphitheater of redwood logs, campgrounds, other park buildings and miles of trails, and probably roads and water lines, as well. For 75 years, those facilities remained virtually unchanged (one footbridge across...
  • Big Creek Bridge - Big Sur CA
    A concrete bridge on former State Route 56 (now State Route 1, the Cabrillo Highway) built with federal funds to the tune of $90,000. A date stamp at each end says 1938.
  • Big Meadows Guard Station - Hume CA
    "Big Meadows Guard Station was constructed between 1933 and 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, (CCC) to provide a residence for Forest Service fire patrolmen stationed in that area. In 1964, the Forest Service no longer needed the use of the cabin. The cabin is 900 square feet, single story and consists of 1 bedroom with a closet, 1 bathroom, a living room and a kitchen with a service porch. The original cabinets, living room and bedroom flooring and bath fixtures remain. The interior has been slightly modified. The exterior is constructed of redwood board over 1 X 8 diagonal...
  • Big Oak Flat Road - Yosemite National Park CA
    The present Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR), with Public Works Administration (PWA) funding, between 1935 and 1940.  It is one of  three main roads into Yosemite Valley, along with El Portal road and Wawona road. Big Oak Flat Road is the main entrance road into Yosemite from the north, designated as state highway 120. At Crane Flat, highway 120 follows the Tioga Road toward Tuolumne Meadows and over Tioga Pass.  Big Oak Flat road splits off to head south toward Yosemite Valley.  Highway 120 from Groveland (west of the park) to the park...
  • Biggs City Hall - Biggs CA
    The Municipal Building in Biggs CA was constructed under the New Deal with funds and labor from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was very active in Butte County.  The federal government provided about one-third of the cost and local governments paid the rest.
  • Bill Graham Civic Auditorium - San Francisco CA
    Made general repairs, cleaned tile and installed new tile, replaced glass, installed new plumbing and heating fixtures, did painting and concrete work, layed new floor in main auditorium, made accomodation for new health service municipal employees, increased corridor space on 2nd floor by removing hat check rooms.--Healy, p. 69.
  • Billie Jean King Main Library Murals - Long Beach CA
    Suzanne Miller painted a nine-panel series of murals in 1937 under the auspices of  the WPA Federal Art Project (FAP). Known both as "Children's Stories" and "Scenes from English Language Literature," the murals were originally located at the old Lincoln Park Main Library in Long Beach, CA. After it burned down, the murals were relocated to the new Billie Jean King Main Library. The murals include scenes drawn from Hiawatha (Longfellow), Il Penseroso (Milton), Vicar of Wakefield (Goldsmith), Rip Van Winkle (Irving), King Solomon (Old Testament), Man with the Hoe (Markham), Alice in Wonderland (Carroll), Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard...
  • Black Butte Lookout Tower (former), Shasta National Forest - Mt. Shasta CA
    Black Butte is a cluster of peaks in the Shasta National Forest. In the 1930s, the CCC built trails up to the summit as well as the Black Butte lookout tower. The tower was destroyed by a storm in 1962. Another was built in 1963 but removed to another location in 1973.
  • Black Mountain Lookout Tower - Milford CA
    From the Plumas National Forest website: "Black Mountain Lookout is situated on the eastern edge of the Beckwourth Ranger District, 10 miles from Highway 395, near Milford, California. The lookout was constructed in 1934 and is a great example of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) architecture. The C-3-type lookout is situated on a single story 10 foot tower and is extremely well-preserved. The lookout offers striking views of Honey Lake to the north, and Last Chance Creek to the south. The rental is available from Memorial weekend through October. The fee for an overnight stay is $60."
  • Bluxome Street Fire House - San Francisco CA
    This is now San Francisco Fire Station No. 8
  • BNSF Rail Road street subway - Colton CA
    $70,000 from the New Deal federal government went into the grading, paving and structure of a subway and approaches under the AT&SF Railroad on old route 43 on the south end of Colton.
  • Bob Hope Patriotic Hall Mural - Los Angeles CA
    "Soldiers and Sailors is a three panel painted mural in the vestibule of Bob Hope Patriotic Hall. Created in 1942 as part of the WPA Art Project, the mural depicts the United States’ military uniforms from 1776 through 1941. Helen Lundeberg also created three WPA murals in 1942 for Patriotic Hall but those have since been lost." (LACounty Arts Commission.)    
  • Boca Dam - Truckee CA
    The Bureau of Reclamation built the Boca Dam in Nevada County CA in the late 1930s.  It is an earth fill dam and part of the Truckee Storage Project, and it is located one mile north of the confluence of the Little Truckee River and the Truckee River.   Also pictured is the original bridge crossing the Truckee River.  All men and materials had to pass over this bridge for work on the dam. The Boca dam is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Bodie Road Improvements - Bridgeport CA
    In 1937-38, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) improved the road to Bodie CA (now CA 270) south of Bridgeport.  Bodie is a relic of a 19th century gold mining boom that had become a ghost town by the mid 20th century.  It was made a California State Park in 1962.  Highway 270 is closed in winter because Bodie stands at over 8,000 feet. The WPA project card in the National Archives states: "Improve Bridgeport - Bodie Road, near Bridgeport, in Mono County, by clearing and grubbing, excavating and filling, installing culverts, surfacing, grading and sloping, and performing appurtenant work. Not a part...
  • Boneyard Road Improvements - Coulterville CA
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) undertook the following work north of Coulterville: "Improvement of Bone Yard Road; Retaining, widening, sloping, etc." WPA Proj. No. 65-3-2705, November 20, 1935, $3,536
  • Bootjack CCC Camp Co. 1925 - Mariposa CA
    This camp operated out of the location of an abandoned hotel in the former mining town of Bootjack in the Mother Lode area of California. According to various articles written for the local newspaper by the camp members, tasks performed were road construction, water infrastructure, and fire fighting. In late 1936, the camp was transfered to Tehachapi. I haven't had the means of determining yet if they returned to the location, since that was hinted at in the newspaper articles by officials of the New Deal.
  • Borrego Palm Canyon Campground - Borrego Springs CA
    A multi purpose campground located in the Anza Borrego State Park on the outskirts of the small town of Borrego Springs. A timeline of the park and its development in an information kiosk at another campground says that Borrego Palm Canyon was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1936.
  • Bowling Green Park - Palo Alto CA
    Bowling Green Park sits where the old Peninsula Hospital once stood. The hospital was torn down after Hoover Pavilion was built in 1931. The Palo Alto Lawn Bowls Club was started in 1933, and Bowling Green Park opened 2 years later. It was inspired by the lawn bowling park in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The project consists of a clubhouse and gardens around a lawn bowling green.
  • Boyes Springs-Sonoma County Fire Station - Sonoma CA
    Built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), this Mission Revival-style fire station was built in 1936. The building has been substantially altered since its original construction.
  • Brannan St. Improvements - San Francisco CA
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) worked to improve many roads in San Francisco, including the 1.6-mile stretch of Brannan St. between The Embarcadero and 10th St.
  • Brea Creek Flood Control Project - Fullerton CA
    In 1940, the Work Projects Administration (WPA) was involved in concrete channelization along the lower portion of Brea Creek in Fullerton, CA. As with most of the rivers in Southern California, development came under the Flood Control Act of 1936 following massive destruction from intense flooding in the early 20th Century. Fullerton had a history of flooding with large floods in both 1900 and 1916. These prompted the development of the Orange County Flood Control District in 1927. Then in 1938, a large flood refocused attention on creating additional flood control measures. In the area, “2.90 inches of rain accumulated in...
  • Brea Olinda High School (former) Improvements - Brea CA
    After the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake, funding from the Public Works Administration (PWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) allowed improvements to the original La Brea Olinda High School and bleachers. Following the earthquake, the Field Act called for stricter building codes to ensure architectural integrity of academic buildings in the case of future natural disasters. La Brea Olinda High School (former) lost some of its original architecture such as its facade and columns. The new architecture was more in the Art Deco or Greco deco style.   The original La Brea Olinda High School was demolished and the lot was sold in the...
  • Breckenridge Fire Lookout - CA
    The Breckenridge Lookout is in the Greenhorn Ranger District: "Breckenridge Lookout, elevation 7,548 feet, is the southern most lookout on the Sequoia National Forest. It is located approximately 50 miles east of Bakersfield off of the Caliente-Bodfish Road on Forest Service Road 28S62. This fire detection location was established in 1912; the original lookout being a crows nest observation platform in a tree on the top of the mountain. The current lookout a C-3 style live-in cab, was built in 1942 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and as such is considered a historically significant structure. Breckenridge...
  • Brentwood Elementary Science Magnet - Los Angeles CA
    Brentwood Elementary Science Magnet (formerly Brentwood Elementary), which opened in 1916, was rebuilt 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...
  • Brentwood Irrigation - Brentwood CA
    The Works Progress Administration created irrigation canals in Brentwood, CA. "This work included grading and cement lining of the Irrigation Ditches and the manufacturing and installation of Cement Concrete Pipe."
  • Bret Harte Junior High School - Hayward CA
    This school was supposedly constructed by WPA funds that were then matched by the community. The school has been heavily altered but the original outdoor amphitheater remains behind the gym.
  • Briceburg Bridge - Midpines CA
    The U.S. Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps built the Briceburg Bridge in Midpines CA. "FOREST SERVICE PLANS BRIDGE AT BULL CREEK Work is being rushed on the new bridge across the Merced River at Briceburg which is being built by the U.S. Forest Service. J. W. Nute, forest service engineer, is here from San Francisco and is in charge of the construction. The bridge is a 160-foot span supported by four one and a fourth inch cables and hangers of iron. Two 25-foot towers support the cables. An interesting feature of this new bridge is the use of steel beams instead of trusses...
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