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  • Harrison Elementary School Mural - Cedar Rapids IA
    This 22' x 5' mural "Transportation" was painted by William Henning in 1935 with PWAP funds. It was restored in 2011.
  • Humboldt County Courthouse - Dakota City IA
    "Plans for the current courthouse were approved in 1936. The Des Moines architectural firm of Dougher, Rich & Woodburn were retained to design the building. The county applied to the Public Works Administration, or PWA, to assist with the funding. The grant was approved in 1937. The contract to build the building was given to Holtze Construction Co. of Sioux City, Iowa. The cornerstone was laid on April 30, 1938, and the new building was dedicated on February 25, 1939. The courthouse was built for $185,000. Iowa Supreme Court Justice Richard Mitchell delivered the main address at an open house. The...
  • Independence Low Dam - Independence IA
    Just before the phase-out of the CWA began in January 1934, the City of Independence applied successfully for CWA funds to build a trio of small dams across the Wapsipinicon at Independence downstream from the city’s mill dam. On further investigation by the county engineer, the number of dams was reduced to two, and later to one. This dam, now known as the Independence Low Dam, spans the river at the northwest corner of Oak Grove Cemetery. The original plans called for multiple three-foot dams constructed of rock and other materials, but eventually a single four-foot dam was constructed of...
  • Iowa City High School - Iowa City IA
    The PWA provided funding for the construction of the Iowa City High School, now City High, in 1937-1938. From Wikipedia: City High School was built through the Public Works Projects, one of many other programs formed in Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal package. City High would become the second high school to be built in Iowa City, as the older one was becoming overcrowded as the population of the city increased. To determine the new location of the school, Iowa City residents had to vote whether to build the school in a central location, closer to the existing high school, or...
  • Iowa Lakeside Laboratory - Milford IA
    Iowa Lakeside Laboratory was built by CCC Camp BFI in 1936 in the vicinity of Milford IA. It is still serving as a laboratory. 
  • Iowa State Fairgrounds - Des Moines IA
    The WPA undertook extensive construction and improvements at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in the mid 1930s. The Iowa State Fair information page describes the history of the site and the extent of the work carried out by the WPA: "Extensive improvements – from reroofing the Cattle Barn to building a storm sewer on Dean Avenue – heralded the 1934 Fair. A five-day program of harness and running horse races offered more than $12,500 in premiums. Forty additional acres were added to the Campgrounds, increasing the total to 160 acres and making it the largest of its kind in the U.S Lighting on...
  • Iowa State University Parks Library: Murals - Ames IA
    "The murals in the Grant Wood Heritage Area and on the walls of the staircase leading to the Upper Lobby of the original building are without doubt the major artistic feature of the Iowa State University Library." These murals by Grant Wood can be divided into two main sets: eight panels of the Other Arts Follow mural were painted under the PWAP in 1934; the three panels referred to as "Breaking the Prairie" were painted two years later under the WPA/NYA. "The eight panels of the Other Arts Follow mural reflect the divisions of Iowa State College at the time: Veterinary...
  • Iowa State University, State Gym Bas Reliefs - Ames IA
    These three terra cotta bas reliefs by Christian Petersen were created with WPA funding in 1936. "The Three Athletes bas relief was the second project Christian Petersen created for the Iowa State campus. A new staircase was being added to State Gym in 1935 during remodeling to accommodate large basketball crowds. The three reliefs, depict a football player, basketball player and a track star. Petersen designed the reliefs so they would fit the full length of the kiln. He put fine details into the athletes, sculpting muscle, bone and tendon contours and included the spikes and cleats on their shoes. The...
  • Iowa State University, Veterinary Medicine Mural - Ames IA
    The veterinary building quadrangle contains a 1938 terra cotta mural by Christian Petersen. The large sculptured mural depicts a variety of scenes from veterinary life. The guiding vision behind the mural was "to depict the services the veterinary profession performs in conserving the life and health of domestic animals, thereby safeguarding the health of humans. Dean Stange envisioned a bas relief mounted in a huge wall of the courtyard so that students and faculty would see the mural every day and be reminded of the professional achievements and goals of their curriculum in veterinary medicine."   (https://vetmed.iastate.edu)
  • Iowa State University, Veterinary Medicine Sculpture - Ames IA
    Christian Petersen created this sculpture "The Gentle Doctor" out of terra cotta in 1937-38. Both the original and a bronze copy are now located at ISU: "This sculpture has been recognized by veterinary schools throughout the United States and the world as an international symbol of veterinary medicine. The sculpture depicts a vet who is holding a sick or wounded puppy. At the doctor's feet is the mother of the puppy looking upward with concern. The Gentle Doctor stands almost seven feet tall. The original terra cotta sculpture sustained weather damage over time and was recast in bronze. It now stands...
  • Iowa State University: Food Sciences Building Bas Reliefs - Ames IA
    The Food Sciences Building courtyard contains a 1934 fountain decorated with six bas-relief panels created by artist Christian Petersen under the Public Works of Art Project: "This mural, composed of six bas relief panels flanking a central fountain, depicts the history of the dairy industry in Iowa and America. The first three panels, located to the left of the fountain, depict the 19th century processes involved with the dairy production. At that time, everyone in the family took part in the milk production process: hand milking, straining, butter churning, and hauling milk to town were all part of the process before...
  • Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge - Moline IL to Bettendorf IA
    The northbound I-74 bridge, a.k.a. Iowa-Illinois Memorial Bridge, was constructed as a Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) project. The P.W.A. supplied a $1,124,000 loan and $403,400 grant for the project, whose total cost was $1,471,244. Construction occurred between June 1934 and November 1936. The bridge was designed by Modjeski, Masters, and Case. P.W.A. Docket No. 42
  • Jefferson Elementary School - Davenport IA
    In 1937, the PWA provided funds for the construction of Jefferson Elementary School on Davenport's west side. From the Des Moines Register: "Some schools combined local tax dollars to enhance traditional building plans. Davenport, for example, built six elementary schools in 1939. Some rooms included fireplaces. Jefferson Elementary has a wood-paneled auditorium. All six elementaries are still in use."
  • Jefferson Municipal Swimming Pool - Jefferson IA
    The municipal pool in Jefferson, Iowa was constructed with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was opened to the public in July of 1937. One of over a dozen public pools constructed in Iowa with the aid of New Deal agencies and funds, the Jefferson Municipal swimming pool incorporated “the most modern equipment.” Its initial dimensions were 75 x 120 feet, with the tile and brick bathhouse standing at 22 x 88 feet. WPA officials and swimming pool designers took special care to equip New Deal pools with the latest engineering features. The pool included rounded corners to prevent injuries,...
  • Ken Locke Athletic Field - Knoxville IA
    The Works Progress Administration built the Ken Locke Athletic Field (previously called the called Knoxville WPA Athletic Field) in Knoxville IA.  
  • Lacey-Keosauqua State Park Development - Keosauqua IA
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed stone buildings and bridges and planted thousands of trees.
  • Lake Manawa Improvements - Council Bluffs IA
    The WPA dredged and improved the lake in 1935-1936.
  • Lake Wapello State Park - Drakesville IA
    Construction on the man-made lake itself began in 1932 and was completed with help from the CCC: "In April of 1933, reforestation camps (Civilian Conservation Corps) were located in Iowa.  Camp #773, Camp Roosevelt Civilian Reforestation Army, was stationed at Lake Wapello.  George W. Vaughn was the army officer in charge of the men.  The 187 recruits assigned to Camp Roosevelt arrived on May 30th, the additional 25 men who completed the camp's enrollment were mustered from local unemployed men.  These men were assigned to gully erosion work, because erosion might dump crumbling tons of shore into the newly formed body...
  • Ledges State Park - Worth Township IA
    "Park facilities constructed of native timber and field stone by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930's are still standing today. These examples of fine craftsmanship include an arch stone bridge, shelter in Oak Woods, stone trail steps and the stone shelter in lower Ledges."
  • Lewis and Clark Memorial - Council Bluffs IA
    This stone monument, north of Big Lake Park, honors the expedition of Lewis & Clark in 1804 and their historic meeting with the Otoe and Missouri Indians. The WPA memorial was constructed in 1936 by artist Harry Edward Stinson.
  • Lewis and Clark State Park - Onawa IA
    Both the WPA and CCC worked on the park.
  • Library Hall Remodeling - Dexter IA
    The Works Progress Administration remodeled of a two-story brick structure into a one-story library and community hall, 1938-1939. The construction costs were $4,o62 in federal funds and $348 in city funds.
  • Lincoln School (former) - Davenport IA
    The PWA provided funds for the construction of Lincoln School in 1940. From Wikipedia: In addition to Lincoln, the new elementary schools included Monroe, Madison, Washington, Jefferson, and McKinley. Lincoln was the only new facility to be built on the location of one of the older buildings. The floor plans for all six school buildings was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Smith & Childs, and they are all similar in layout. Local architects were employed to design the stylistic features for each building. Davenport architect Howard S. Muesse was chosen for Lincoln School. The building was constructed by Langlois Construction...
  • Lindsay Park Improvements - Davenport IA
    Lindsay Park is a 31-acre park located east Davenport, Iowa. The Works Progress Administration landscaped and improved the park in 1935. Pictured is Lindsay park in 1992. The appearance of the park has changed little since then.
  • Littleton Dam - Littleton IA
    The first of the four known New Deal dams constructed in the Wapsipinicon watershed, the Littleton Dam, started as a locally funded project. Its construction was supported by the State Fish and Game Commission because the dam fit into the state’s 25-year conservation plan. As originally proposed in August 1933, the state would supply the materials for the dam and a local committee would raise the funds for the labor. Construction of the dam started around November 1, 1933, using locally funded labor. Within days, however, the Civil Works Administration (CWA) was established, and by the third week in November...
  • Madison Elementary School - Davenport IA
    The PWA provided funds for the construction of Lincoln School in 1940. From Wikipedia: In addition to Lincoln, the new elementary schools included Monroe, Madison, Washington, Jefferson, and McKinley. Lincoln was the only new facility to be built on the location of one of the older buildings. The floor plans for all six school buildings was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Smith & Childs, and they are all similar in layout. Local architects were employed to design the stylistic features for each building.  
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park Improvements - Maquoketa IA
    "The first park land was purchased in 1921. However, the majority of the park facilities were not constructed until the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Both programs resulted from the federal government effort to make work for Americans during the Great Depression. Their work included the stone lodge, Dancehall Cave walkway system, stone picnic circle and several hexagonal picnic shelters along the trail. Some of these structures have been restored and efforts continue." -Iowa Department of Natural Resources  
  • Marion Heritage Center Mural - Marion IA
    Daniel Rhodes painted this egg tempera mural on plaster in 1939 for the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. It was originally installed in the post office and was restored in 2008. Iowa-born artist Daniel Rhodes painted a number of murals for the federal government during the Great Depression. "Communication by Mail," depicting modern railroad technology, was his last Iowa mural commission. It is one of only three true fresco murals in Iowa. From an article in the Marion Times: The former Marion Post Office on 8th Avenue, was built with WPA funds in 1939. A mural, by Fort Dodge resident, Dan Rhodes, was...
  • Mason City Sewage Plant Improvements - Mason City IA
    An inventory of WPA project photographs compiled by Becky Jordan at Iowa State University includes reference to numerous public works projects undertaken by the agency in Iowa between 1935 and 1940. The collection of 1,271 photographs documents the variety and extent of New Deal related efforts undertaken in the Hawkeye State. The Mason City sewage disposal plant in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa (Project 1293) is included among the many WPA projects described in the collection.
  • McKinley Park Improvements - Creston IA
    The WPA made improvements to McKinley Park.
  • Memorial Auditorium - Burlington IA
    Burlington Memorial Auditorium, located near the Mississippi River, was built by the Works Progress Administration and opened in May of 1939. It was first used as a U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center and by the supply company of the 136th Medical Regiment of the Iowa National Guard. Today, the Auditorium serves as an entertainment venue. It is owned by The City of Burlington, IA and managed by Burlington Riverfront Entertainment.
  • Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 11 - Dubuque IA
    From the National Register of Historic Places nomination file: "The 114.24-acre Lock and Dam No. 11 Historic District is made up of a navigation lift lock, a nonnavigable dam, and 37 associated resources. Two general contractors and numerous subcontractors, all employing the maximum number of people possible for a relief work project, built most of the main features of this district between 1934 and 1937. Eagle Point Bridge was already in place when this work began."
  • Monroe Elementary School - Davenport IA
    The PWA provided funds for the construction of Monroe Elementary School in 1940. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. From Wikipedia: In addition to Lincoln, the new elementary schools included Monroe, Madison, Washington, Jefferson, and McKinley. Lincoln was the only new facility to be built on the location of one of the older buildings. The floor plans for all six school buildings was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Smith & Childs, and they are all similar in layout. Local architects were employed to design the stylistic features for each building.  
  • Municipal Swimming Pool - Decorah IA
    "The Decorah Municipal Swimming Pool building design is an architectural specimen of an advanced contemporary style of its day. It is a vision of both the Art Moderne and the International styles of architecture, as designed by Edward Novak, who worked at the well-known Charles Altfillisch architectural firm in Decorah... The construction of the pool building has additional importance in local history. Constructing the Decorah Swimming Pool was a partnership project between the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the city of Decorah during the Great Depression. Land Deed Record No. 179 from Winneshiek County shows the three lots where the pool...
  • Ocheyedan Town Hall - Ocheyedan IA
    Constructed by the WPA in 1940.
  • Oleson Park Bandshell - Fort Dodge IA
    Built by the WPA in 1938 and still in use. It is also known as the Karl King Bandshell. "Hired to design the structure was Henry Kamphoefner, a young architect from Sioux City who had won international recognition for a pavilion which was constructed in Sioux City in 1935.  When completed in 1938 the Fort Dodge Bandshell was already considered an excellent example of Modern Movement Architecture.  It is made wholly of reinforced concrete cast in smooth-lined forms. WPA funding took care of 85% of the $45,000 cost, the City of Fort Dodge making up the remainder. The Oleson Park Music...
  • Park Shelter - Hubbard IA
    This stone park shelter in the small town of Hubbard, Iowa, was built by the WPA in 1939.
  • Pine Lake State Park Cabins - Eldora IA
    "Four recently remodeled stone and timber cabins are nestled along the Iowa River. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress administration in the 1930s, these cabins have fireplaces to take the chill off a cool fall day. 'Pine Creek' and 'Bittersweet' cabins accommodate up to 6 people, 'Goldfinch' and 'Sandstone' up to four. 'Pine Creek' is accessible to the mobility-impaired. Each cabin features a shower, restroom, stove, and refrigerator. Cabin users must provide their own dishes, eating utensils, bedding, towels and other camping items. The cabins can be reserved online through the park reservation system." -Iowa Department...
  • Polk County Administration Building Extension - Des Moines IA
    This large 1910 Treasury Department-funded building, located at Walnut St. and 2nd Ave. in downtown Des Moines, underwent an extension during the New Deal. At the time the structure was a federal building and housed post office operations. The building presently serves as the Polk County Administration Building. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 1974. "The Des Moines architectural firm of Wetherell & Harrison drew up plans in the early 1930s for a large addition to the south, but no money was appropriated for it. Plans for a smaller addition were approved in 1934...
  • Post Office - Ames IA
    The post office in Ames was completed in 1935 with funds provided by the Treasury Department. It is also the site of Lowell Houser's 1938 mural, "The Evolution of Corn," completed with funds provided by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts and viewable in the lobby.
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