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  • 1939 World's Fair Mural Study - Chicago IL
    Ilya Bolotowsky’s oil painting study for the Hall of Sciences mural at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York is today housed in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. It is all that remains of Bolotowsky’s mural commissioned by the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Arts Projects, as all murals made for the World’s Fair were destroyed at the Fair’s closure (Mahoney, p. 261). Bolotowsky is a generally overlooked pioneer of American abstract art and this work is a testament to the brilliance of his art, which he was given ample opportunity to practice through the New Deal. Thus,...
  • Alpine Park - Rockford IL
    Charles Story: "From the beginning, WPA involvement would play a significant role in the creation of Alpine Park (Park). While there is no record of the WPA or any outside agency providing money for the purchase of the park or building materials, the WPA provided all the labor for the outbuildings and the original roads (Park, Morning Star) . The workers also cleared tress and prepared the land. The WPA workers built the small building that faces Alpine Road and the fireplaces and stone bridge that stand along the Alpine Road entrance (Barrie, Park, Morning Star). The original use for the...
  • Alton National Cemetery Improvements - Alton IL
    "In 1938, the Alton Cemetery Association made an initial offer to donate land for a national cemetery with a proviso that the government build a rostrum or permanent speaker’s stand for use on Memorial Day. Once the offer was accepted, Works Progress Administration laborers constructed a permanent rostrum. Between 1941 and 1942, the remains of 49 Union soldiers were removed from a nearby, but separate, section of Alton City Cemetery, and were reinterred on the federal land."
  • Arlington Heights Recreation Center and Pool - Arlington Heights IL
    The Arlington Heights Recreation Center, which was built between 1936 and 1939, was created through the Works Progress Administration. The idea for the project was first conceived in 1934, but financial support did not become available to start the building of the Center until 1936. The community could not fund the project on its own, but it still wanted to provide its citizens with some sort of community recreation center. When a straw vote failed to pass the plans for a public swimming facility, Arlington Heights reached out to officials in Washington and of the WPA for $200,000 in funding to...
  • Armory (demolished) - Rock Island IL
    The historic Rock Island Armory was constructed with the assistance of federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds between 1936 and 1937. The PWA supplied a $147,272 grant for the project, whose total cost was $359,626. The structure was demolished in 2009; Schwiebert Park now occupies the former site of the building. PWA Docket No. IL 1195.
  • Avalon Park - Chicago IL
    Avalon Park was one of the last projects of the WPA that was approved by Harry Hopkins and Controller General J.R. McCarl in 1935 and was an example during the Great Depression of how the government was interested in giving pleasurable entertainment and culture to the community of the Chicago South Side. The park is located between 83rd and 85th streets, with South Kimbark Avenue on the east side and is approximately 28 acres . Pre-New Deal, in 1931 landscape architect Robert Moore created a plan for the park and Alderman Michael F. Mulcahy was also involved in jumpstarting plans...
  • Bateman School Children Reading and Playing Wood Carving - Chicago IL
    This carving of two 3' x 5' wood panels was created with the help of New Deal funds.
  • Bateman School Decorative Landscape Mural - Chicago IL
    This 30' x 40' mural was painted with the help of New Deal funds.
  • Bateman School Mural - Chicago IL
    This 7'11" x 11'6" mural "Characters from Children's Literature" was painted by Roberta Elvis with WPA Federal Art Project funds.
  • Bateman School Scenes of Industry and Learning Bas Relief - Chicago IL
    This 14' x 4' wood carving was produced with the help of New Deal funds.
  • Belding School Mural - Chicago IL
    The Belding School contains a WPA mural "Children's Activities" by Roberta Elvis. Medium: oil on canvas Size: 15' x 5'4"
  • Bennett School: Dahlstrom Mural - Chicago IL
    The Bennett School contains this WPA mural "History of Books" by Gustaf Dahlstrom, a 4'6" x 70' oil on canvas frieze in 15 sections. The frieze was restored in 2000.
  • Bennett School: Spongberg Mural - Chicago IL
    The Bennett School contains a mural "Children's Subjects" by Grace Spongberg, depicting four subjects: 1) Art, 2) History, 3) Science, 4) Music Medium: oil on canvas Size: 4 panels, each 11' x 6' Restoration Info: Restored 2001
  • Berwyn Health Center - Berwyn IL
    This monumental building was constructed in 1939 for  offices of the Berwyn Township’s Public Health District.  It was funded in part by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (i.e., the PWA). It was designed by Berwyn resident Vladimir Novak and is listed on National Register of Historic Places.
  • Berwyn Municipal Building - Berwyn IL
    The Berwyn Municipal Building was completed in 1939 as a non-federal Public Works Administration project. The architects Hubert Burnham and Charles Herrick Hammond were chosen by the city of Berwyn. It was built in the Moderne style and the main façade features large blocks of tan limestone as well as tan glazed bricks and unusual prism shaped pilasters. The main façade features a limestone parapet with “Municipal Building” incised into the stone cornice. On either side of these words are two carved emblems depicting homes emitting a stylized ray of light. The building originally functioned as a government office, fire...
  • Black Hawk State Historic Site, Watchtower Lodge - Rock Island IL
    The Black Hawk State Historic Site, at the intersection of the Rock and Mississippi rivers, was an important site for Native American of the Sauk and Mesquakie tribes long before European settlers forced them off the land. In the late 19th century, the site became part of an amusement park known as the Watch Tower Park. In the 1920s, the amusement park was demolished and the site became the Black Hawk State Park. It was designated as a historic site in 1987. In 1933, two hundred CCC boys moved to the site and constructed the rustic Watchtower lodge, still in use today....
  • Black Hawk State Historic Site, Watchtower Lodge Murals - Rock Island IL
    The CCC lodge at the Black Hawk State Historic Site contains "two murals painted in 1936 by Works Progress Administration (WPA) artist Otto Hake. The murals depict the seasonal activities of the Sauk and Mesquakie Indian people."   (www.blackhawkpark.org)  
  • Bloom Township High School - Mural - Chicago Heights IL
    "Occupational Studies and Their Application" This fresco of six 9' x 4'6" panels was painted with the help of New Deal funds.
  • Boneyard Creek Development - Urbana IL
    Boneyard Creek runs through the cities of Urbana and Champaign. In 1934 "Civil Works Administration (CWA) workers completed some maintenance work on the Boneyard Creek in Urbana and Champaign. Work consisted of clearing obstructions to the flow, cleaning channel banks, and stabilizing channel banks with timbers." Today, "Land use in the watershed is virtually all urban (residential, commercial, industrial)... The watershed and the channel have been greatly modified, the natural flood plain is highly developed."   (www.isws.illinois.edu)
  • Burbank School Murals - Chicago IL
    Andrene Kauffman painted two murals for the Burbank School under the auspices of the WPA Federal Art Project. "Circus," composed of two 10' x 10' panels, is located in the school auditorium. "Incidents in the Life of Luther Burbank," composed of two 4' x 20' panels, is located in room 104.
  • Bureau County Courthouse - Princeton IL
    "The new courthouse is 114 by 109 feet in plan. It encloses and makes use of the walls of the old courthouse which was 56 by 92 feet and provided space for the courtroom ad accessory quarters. The new building provides space for the county clerk, county treasurer, county court, circuit court clerk, State attorney, board of supervisors, county superintendent of schools, highway commissioners, tuberculosis clinic, old-age pension board, police, work-relief agencies, and rooms for the grand jury and petit jury. The structure is fireproof throughout, including the old building where the wood floors were replaced...
  • Burnham Park and 31st St. Beach - Chicago IL
    "The 31st Street Beach is located in Burnham Park, a green space first envisioned by renowned architect Daniel Burnham in his seminal 1909 Plan of Chicago...Burnham Park served as the site for Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress, between 1933 and 1934. After the fair, the newly consolidated Chicago Park District made additional plans for Burnham Park that echoed Burnham’s original vision for the space. With federal funding through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the park district began improvements in the mid-1930s, including additional landfill, playfields, walkways, tennis courts, basketball courts, and the 31st Street Beach and beach...
  • Burpee Museum of Natural History - Rockford IL
    Construction of Rockford's Burpee Museum of Natural History was undertaken as a federal Work Projects Administration (W.P.A.) project.
  • Camp Butler (former) Improvements - Fort Sheridan IL
    Illinois's old Camp Butler was improved as part of Federal Project F-87 by the federal Civil Works Administration (CWA) ca. 1933-4. "The general scope of the project covered improvements to buildings and grounds, landscaping, drainage and minor construction."
  • Camp Grant (former) Improvements - Fort Sheridan IL
    Illinois's old Camp Grant was improved as part of Federal Project F-88 by the federal Civil Works Administration (CWA) ca. 1933-4. The work involved "the rehabilitation of the target range, repairs to the road leading to the target range and general repairs, painting and plumbing, to the buildings on the 3200-acre military reservation known as Camp Grant, near Rockford. This project carried a quota of 66 workmen."
  • Carpenter Park - Springfield IL
    The CCC "did work at Carpenter Park north of the city."
  • Carroll Park Playground Sculpture - Oak Park IL
    The stone sculpture at this site, entitled "Alice in Wonderland," was likely made by Emmanuel Viviano with WPA Federal Art Project funding. Based on this post from 2009 0n the MIR Appraisal Services blog, the sculpture may have been relocated: Last Sunday, I attempted an “Emmanuel Viviano/ WPA Field Trip” all about Chicago—I wanted to scout out the Viviano public art in our city and report back to you. Sadly, I couldn’t locate any of his works… from the Carroll Playground in Oak Park (which once featured a statue and fountain of Alice), to the Nancy Hill School in Aurora (once...
  • CCC Camp - Elmhurst IL
    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) company 1672 built a camp in Elmhurst IL. "In December 1933, Elmhurst welcomed CCC company 1672. The company consisted of more than 200 army veterans, and they quickly set to work building a camp near North Avenue and Villa Avenue to the northwest of town. However, their work orders were delayed, and in May of the following year the company was dispatched to Rockford. Camp Elmhurst was temporarily vacant until the end of that summer. CCC Company 2602, under the command of Captain Leland S. Powers, arrived at Camp Elmhurst on August 10, 1934 with the assigned...
  • Centennial Beach Bathhouse - Naperville IL
    Naperville's Centennial Park beach received a bathhouse during the New Deal, which is still standing today: "In 1934, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) completed the bathhouse, built from limestone taken from the quarry at the facility’s western edge. The completed bathhouse had stone steps leading down to the swimming area. The shallow section included a sandy area and the deep section had three anchored rafts, a 12-foot diving tower, two spring boards and one lifeguard stand." The bathhouse was recently renovated: "One of the top priorities was to preserve the historic bathhouse and much care was taken to ensure that its character remained...
  • Chicago Midway International Airport - Chicago IL
    Before Midway Airport was called Midway it was known as the Municipal Airport. However, in the 1930s, under the watchful eye of the WPA (Works Progress Association), the airport went under construction to expand and add new runways for safer travel. It also during this time held the top spot for the most traveled airport in the world. To this day it is the third busiest airport and continues to use the ideas and expansions made from the New Deal. In the 1930s there many airports that were going under construction as part of the New Deal programs, such as the...
  • Chopin School Murals - Chicago IL
    Florian Durzynski painted two murals, "Stephen Foster" and "Frederic Chopin," for the Chopin School in 1940 with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Christopher School Murals - Chicago IL
    The school contains three WPA murals by Arthur Lidov depicting "Characters from Children's Literature." Medium: tempera on plaster on presswood Size: 3 semi-circular panels each about 3'2" r Restoration Info: Restored 1999
  • City Building - Champaign IL
    Champaign's historic City Building was constructed in part with federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) funds. The building replaced a two-story red brick building that had been on site. The New Deal structure bears a 1935 cornerstone and opened in 1937. The P.W.A. supplied a $77,454 grant for the project, whose total cost was $207,617. P.W.A. Docket No. ILL 1357-R
  • City Hall Mural - Chicago IL
    This 10' x 27' fresco "The Blessings of Water" was painted by Edward Millman in 1937 with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project. It was restored in 1994.
  • City Hall Mural - Chicago IL
    In 1936, when Edward Millman was the state director of mural projects for the FAP, he was commissioned to convert a blank 400 square-foot wall in the City Hall offices of the former Bureau of Water (current Service Center) into a 10’ x 27’ fresco that would portray the importance of water in humanity. “The Blessings of Water” was completed in 1937. The right side of this narrative mural portrays the suffering caused by lack of water and the miserable rural setting caused by the Dust Bowl. On the contrary, the left side is a celebration of the life that...
  • City Pool - Mt. Carmel IL
    This beautiful circular pool was constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938.
  • Clissold School Murals - Chicago IL
    Four WPA murals by Jefferson League show historical stages in the history of the neighborhood; the fifth is a map of the community at the turn of the century. Medium: oil on canvas Size: 5 murals; 4 11' x 6'2", 1 7' x 6'2" Restoration Info: Restored 1999
  • Community Center - Chatham IL
    Chatham Community Center was constructed in 1935-6 with federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) funds. The P.W.A. provided a $30,800 loan and $10,588 grant for the project, whose total cost was $41,395. PWA Docket No. IL 9083
  • Dixon School Mural - Chicago IL
    The school contains a WPA mural "Winter and Spring" by Mary C. Hague. Medium: oil on canvas Size: 2 panels, each 12' x 10'
  • Effingham Junior High School - Effingham IL
    Effingham, Illinois's historic junior high school building was originally constructed as the city's high school in 1939. Sometimes attributed to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the building was constructed with federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds. The building bears a Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (PWA) plaque and a 1939 cornerstone. The building was designed by Royer, Danely, and Smith, and the general contractor was E. C. Childers Construction Co. PWA Project No. Ill. 1977
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