1 2 3
  • 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,...
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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 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...
  • 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
  • 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'
  • Eugene Field Park Field House Mural - Chicago IL
    "In 1928, Clarence Hatzfeld, a member of the park board and architect of many northwest side recreational, commercial, and residential buildings, designed a Tudor Revival-style fieldhouse for the park. A stone grotto and fountain originally graced the front of the fieldhouse. Inside, a Federal Works Progress Administration artist created a mural entitled "The Participation of Youth in the Realm of the Arts.""
  • Falconer School Mural - Chicago IL
    This 11'5" x 11'2" mural "Landscape With Children" was painted by Florian Durzynski under the auspices of the WPA's Federal Art Project.
  • Field Museum Murals - Chicago IL
    Julius Moessel worked under the Federal Art Project, and the WPA Federal Project Number One. He created an astonishing eighteen murals. The 7' x 9' panels were created for the Chicago Field Museum’s “Plants of the World Exhibit”, specifically for the collection titled "The Story of Food Plants." This project took two and a half years to complete (1938-1940), and while Moessel painted all eighteen by himself, he worked under the supervision of the Field Museum’s curator of botany. The murals were created as a way of visually showing people cultivation around the world- demonstrating farming and agriculture in various...
  • Foster Park - Chicago IL
    "In 1934, the Great Depression necessitated the consolidation of the city's 22 individual park commissions. The newly-formed Chicago Park District improved Foster Park's landscape and constructed a small recreation building there."
  • Gary School Mural - Chicago IL
    The Gary School contains a WPA mural by Roberta Elvis depicting fairy tale characters. Medium: oil on canvas Size: 5' h x 21' w Restoration Info: Restored 2001
  • Gompers Park - Chicago IL
    "Using federal funding through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the park district soon began rehabilitating the southern portion of the park, constructing tennis courts, a footbridge over the river, a dam and spillway for the lower lagoon."
  • Green Diamond Train (Demolished) - Chicago IL
    In early November, 1934, the Illinois Central (I.C.) Railroad contracted with the Pullman Car & Manufacturing Corporation to build the I.C.’s first streamline train, consisting of a 1,200 horsepower Diesel-electric locomotive, a mail & baggage car, two passenger coaches, and a lounge car.  Then, on November 26, 1934, the I.C. requested the Interstate Commerce Commission approve a $2 million loan from the Public Works Administration (PWA), a portion of which was to finance the new streamliner (the PWA had awarded this loan in October).  The loan was approved sometime thereafter, probably in early 1935. The “Green Diamond” cost $425,000 to construct...
  • Harvard School Mural - Chicago IL
    This 12'  x 9'11" mural "Harvesting of Grain: Spring and Fall" in Chicago's John Harvard school was painted by Florian Durzynski with WPA Federal Art Project funds in 1939 and restored in 2002. The "Fall" part of this mural set was destroyed. The lunette that was above it, and the lunette about "Spring," survive.
  • Horace Mann School Mural - Chicago IL
    The three panels of this mural "The Life of Horace Mann" depicting scenes from the life of Horace Mann was painted by Ralf Henricksen in 1937 with funds from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Howe School Mural - Chicago IL
    The school auditorium contains a WPA mural "Landscape" by Florian Durzynski. Medium: oil on canvas Size: 10" h x 20' w
  • Independence Park Mural - Chicago IL
    The Federal Arts Project section of the New Deal Program employed men and women with different artistic talents for depictions of American life that would be on display in federal buildings and newly built buildings. Although the Independence Park field house, (located at 3945 N. Springfield) was not a new development (it was built in 1914), a WPA painting by M.R Decker was created for display in the field house auditorium in 1937, a few years after the 22 independent park agencies of Chicago formed to become the Chicago Park District. This painting is entitled "Spirit of 1776", and depicts...
  • Isabel C. O’Keeffe Elementary School Addition - Chicago IL
    A Public Works Administration grant helped fund the construction of an addition to O’Keeffe Elementary School at 70th Street and South Merrill Avenue in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. The two-story, nearly 10,000-square-foot addition was designed by Board of Education architect John Charles Christensen and provided eight new classrooms. The architectural style of the new addition was patterned after that of the existing school building and formed a short wing at the northern end of the original school building, which opened in 1925. Construction work on the addition began in April 1936 and was completed in time for the start of...
  • Jackson Park Improvements - Chicago IL
    In 1936, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) pursued a variety of improvements at Chicago’s historic Jackson Park.   “The WPA to town in the park,” the Jackson Park Advisory Council opines. WPA work crews built “comfort stations at the golf driving range,” a “children’s playground,” and “a maintenance building and an overpass at 63rd Street.” The WPA “shortened lagoon shoreline and did other rehabilitation work on Wooded Island and at the Japanese Garden. The 1888 ladies comfort station was rehabilitated.” Moreover, golf course “inlet bridges and the Perennial Garden” were installed. “As part of the WPA work, E.V. Buchsman design...
  • Jane Addams Homes - Chicago IL
    "In 2006, a cross-section of Chicagoans came together to preserve and transform the only remaining building of the historic Jane Addams Homes on the Near West Side. The three-story brick building at 1322-24 West Taylor opened in 1938 as the first federal government housing project in Chicago. It housed hundreds of families over six decades, and has sat vacant since 2002. The Jane Addams Homes was one of three demonstration projects in Chicago built under the Public Works Administration Act, which was created to provide jobs and help revive the Depression-era economy. Designed by a team of architects headed by John...
  • Jensen Park - Chicago IL
    "In 1934, the Great Depression necessitated the consolidation of the city's 22 independent park agencies into the Chicago Park District. Using federal relief funds, the newly-created park district soon began work on Jensen Park. Site improvements included a wading pool, and tennis, volley ball, and basketball courts."
  • Julia C. Lathrop Homes - Chicago IL
    The Julia C. Lathrop Homes was one of the first federally funded public housing projects in Chicago, providing inexpensive housing to those who otherwise could not afford it. The project was an immediate success, as evident by the overwhelming amount of applications submitted in 1937, a year before the homes were completed. 2,383 families applied to live in the Lathrop Homes, which would only have 975 units total. These applications were narrowed down based on income; only those who made less than five times the amount of rent were considered. In 1939, the average monthly rent for Lathrop Homes was $5.39...
  • Kedzie-Grace Post Office - Chicago IL
    Chicago's Kedzie-Grace Post Office (also known as the Daniel J. Doffyn Station) was constructed by the Treasury in 1936.
  • Kedzie-Grace Post Office Bas Relief - Chicago IL
    This aluminum bas relief titled "Mercury" was created by Peter Paul Ott with funding from the Treasury Section of Fine Arts.
  • Kohn Elementary School Mural - Chicago IL
    These two mural panels of "Covered Wagon and Indians," each 8'  x 28', were completed by an unknown artist in 1939 with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Kolmar Park - Chicago IL
    "In 1934, the Great Depression necessitated the consolidation of the city's 22 independent park agencies into the Chicago Park District. Using federal relief funds, the newly-created park district soon began work to complete Kolmar Park. The park district improved the site with a playground and a playing field that was flooded for ice skating in the winter."
  • Kozminski Community Academy Classroom Scenes Mural - Chicago IL
    Three lunettes and three borders now located at the Kozminski Community Academy in Chicago were produced with the help of New Deal funds in 1942.
  • Lake Shore Drive - Chicago IL
    The New Deal helped with the progress of Lake Shore Drive, both the Works Progress Administration and the Public Works Administration providing funding. These administrations’ assistance led to the completion of Lake Shore Drive from Foster Avenue to Jackson Park and led to the related projects of the Outer Drive Bridge and the State Street subway. In 1936, the PWA was granted $893,250 to put towards five public works projects. Some of that money went towards improving Lake Shore Drive between North Avenue and Ohio Street and Belmont Avenue and Byron Street. In 1939, the WPA put $1,250,000 into a...
1 2 3