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  • 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...
  • Jefferson County Courthouse - Mt. Vernon IL
    The Jefferson County courthouse in Mt. Vernon IL was built with funds from the Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1939.  It is a three-story concrete structure in Moderne or Art Deco style, designed by architect William R. McCoy, who was quite active in central Illinois at the time.  It is one of six New Deal county courthouses in Illinois (Weiser 2009).  Unfortunately, Weiser, Wikipedia and other sources make the common mistake of confusing the PWA with the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The courthouse is an elegant building, with a protruding south portico with  three vertical sections divided by bas-relief pillars.   Above...
  • 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.
  • Lafayette Elementary School - Jacksonville IL
    Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (later renamed PWA), Project No. ILL. 1306-R. Constructed in 1936.
  • 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...
  • Lake Springfield Beach and Beach House - Springfield IL
    "The bathhouse at the new Lake Springfield beach area started out as a Civil Works Administration program but couldn’t be finished as a work relief program because there was “an absence of skilled workers on the relief rolls,” according to the Illinois State Journal in 1933. It was completed by private construction. The beach opened in 1935 with help from the federal programs. Public parks, the wildlife sanctuary and other recreational areas also benefited."
  • Lake Springfield Development - Springfield IL
    "The PWA and WPA also provided funding for projects around Lake Springfield, including landscaping and placing riprap. ... The WPA would later aid in ... other Lake Springfield projects."
  • Lakeview Post Office Mural - Chicago IL
    During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration was the greatest and most ambitious agency to come out of FDR’s New Deal that employed mostly the unskilled. One sector of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was the Federal Art Project (FAP), and from that was born the Mural Division. This sought to not only employ artists that were struggling financially, but also to bring art to the public. There were many divisions of the FAP that had similar goals, but the Mural Division had a grand vision, and a lasting legacy. It showcased the talent of many artists in that...
  • Lakeview Station Post Office - Chicago IL
    The Lakeview Station post office was constructed by the Treasury sometime between 1933-1937. The date on the cornerstone is too worn to read, but Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (whose name does appear on the cornerstone) was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by FDR in 1933, and a New Deal mural was installed in the building in 1937.
  • Lane Tech College Prep Auditorium Fire Curtain Mural - Chicago IL
    A 43' x 20' oil mural was painted on the steel fire curtain in the auditorium at Lane Tech High School by artist John Edwin Walley. It was installed in 1936 with funding from the WPA's Federal Art Project and restored in 1997. One commentary on the mural says this: "The imposing Native American figure called "the lean Indian," painted on the steel fire curtain of the school auditorium, was the first of many artworks to be commissioned for Lane Tech, then all male, during the New Deal years. The school had moved to a new building in 1934, and Lane's principal...
  • Lane Tech College Prep Bas Reliefs - Chicago IL
    Among several other New Deal artworks at the Lane Tech High School are these carved mahogany bas-reliefs in the school library. These 15' x 6' reliefs were carved by sculptor Peter Paul Ott, with assistance from wood workers Conzelman, Meuzenmeier, Sarner, Ericksen and McGrory. The reliefs were completed between 1936 and 1938 with support from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Lane Tech College Prep High School Auditorium Mural - Chicago IL
    Among the many Federal Art Project (FAP) funded artworks at Lane Tech High school is a four-panel fresco in the auditorium, "Teaching of the Arts," painted by Mitchell Siporin in 1938. Each panel is 15' x 3'6." From A Guide to Chicago's Murals (2001): "Four vertical panels mounted between the exterior doors of the Lane Tech auditorium describe the teaching of the humanities. They were painted when the school was all male. In each, Mitchell Siporin portrays the figure of a mentor or teacher standing behind that of a young student. For literature, a wise-looking older man with his arm outstretched gently...
  • Lane Tech College Prep High School Lunchroom Murals - Chicago IL
    Among the New Deal artworks at Lane Tech High School are several frescoes in the school lunchroom, each depicting a different period of "Epochs in the History of Man." These large (12' x 14') frescoes were painted by Edgar Britton in 1937 under the Federal Art Project (FAP), a branch of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
  • Lane Tech College Prep High School Sculptures - Chicago IL
    Two 14-foot figures titled "Boys Rising From the Sea" were created by Charles Umlauf under the auspices of the WPA Federal Art Project.  These sculptures are placed in front of the school.  They are part of a group of New Deal artworks that embellish Lane Tech College Prep High School
  • Lanphier High School - Springfield IL
    "The reservoir at what is now the site of Lanphier High School was removed as a CWA project in 1933. The $300,000 construction of Lanphier High three years later was partially financed by Public Works Administration funds, as was an addition completed in 1938."
  • Laramie Viaduct (demolished) - Chicago IL
    Chicago, Illinois's old Laramie Viaduct, which carried South Laramie Ave. over the railroad line just south of I-290, was constructed with the assistance of federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds in 1939. The bridge was demolished ca. 2010.
  • Legler Library Mural - Chicago IL
    Richard Babcock's 11' x 18' painting "Father Marquette's Winter in Chicago" in the Legler Library was created in 1934 with the help of FAP funds.
  • Lincoln Elementary School Library Wood Carving - Oak Park IL
    This carving, entitled "The Wild Beasts," hangs in the library of Lincoln Elementary School. It was designed by Andrene Kauffman and carved from oak by C. Svec.
  • Lincoln Elementary School Sculpture - Evanston IL
    The New Deal Art Registry reports that the sculpture "Industrial Trophy" at Lincoln Elementary School was created by Sidney Loeb with WPA Federal Art Project funds, but notes that the title and artist of this piece are tentative.
  • Lincoln Elementary School: Kauffman Bas Reliefs - Evanston IL
    With funding from the WPA Federal Art Project, Andrene Kauffman created two 4' x 7' wooden reliefs for the Lincoln Elementary School:  "Monkeys" and "Children in Fruit Trees."
  • Lincoln Elementary School: Pain Bas Relief - Evanston IL
    This relief "Organ Grinder" by Louise Pain was completed with WPA Federal Art Project funds.
  • Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site - Lerna IL
    The farm of Thomas and Sarah Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reconstructed a reproduction of their cabin on the site, along with building a maintenance barn and gift shop. A CCC camp, Camp Shiloh, was located at the site. Its enrollees were WWI veterans.
  • Lincoln Park - Chicago IL
    Lincoln Park, one of Chicago’s largest and oldest parks, is a prime example of the city’s commitment to conserving and protecting this valuable lakefront property for public use. The park currently stretches from the Ohio Street Beach in Streeterville, just north of Navy Pier, north to Ardmore Avenue in Edgewater. It exists today very much the same as it did after the WPA got a hold of it in the late-1930s. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) did the majority of their work in Lincoln Park from 1937 to 1941. The agency allotted $45,000 dollars to the park, even though the plan...
  • Lincoln Park Post Office - Chicago IL
    "This is one of the largest branch post offices in Chicago. It was constructed to provide for a 10-year growth in post office requirements, and the depth of the property makes possible a future enlargement of the building. The workroom is lighted by skylights and artificial light and has an area of 10,740 square feet. The lobby is 18 by 54 feet and has a terrazzo floor, marble base, and walnut wainscot. The construction is fireproof. The exterior walls are faced with brick, trimmed with limestone, have a granite base, and aluminum spandrels. It was completed in April 1936 at...
  • Lincoln Park, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool - Chicago IL
    The lily pool is located in Chicago's north side in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, just one block from Lake Michigan. It was dilapidated before 1936 when Chicago Park District employee Alfred Caldwell was asked to redesign it. With funds provided by the WPA, Caldwell designed a beautiful, 3-acre garden in an urban metropolis. With big slabs of limestone, he even created a waterfall. Walking paths guide visitors around the garden, where they can get in touch with native plants and trees. In the southeast corner, Caldwell designed a council ring to sit and relax at. It was a beautiful urban oasis...
  • Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beach and Beach House - Chicago IL
    "In 1934, the Lincoln Park Commission became part of the newly consolidated Chicago Park District and the new agency received substantial funding through President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The completion of North Avenue Beach was one of many projects in Lincoln Park funded through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Construction began in 1939 and the $1,250,000 project included a major improvement to Lake Shore Drive with grade separation providing a new overpass at North Avenue. The new North Avenue Beach, totaled more than 875,000 square feet of new parkland and extended all the way to Fullerton Avenue. Chicago Park...
  • Linne Elementary Mural - Chicago IL
    This 6' x 30' mural titled "The Life of Carl Von Linne" was painted by Ethel Spears in 1939 with the help of the WPA's Federal Art Project.
  • Logan Square Station Post Office - Chicago IL
    This historic Logan Square Station post office in Chicago, Illinois was constructed with federal Treasury Department funds in 1933. The building is still in service.
  • Logan Square Station Post Office Sculpture - Chicago IL
    Hildreth Meiere’s sculpture titled “The Post” was executed and completed in 1937. It can be found in the Logan Square Station Post Office. The piece is made primarily out of metal and is heavily influenced by art deco styles. This work depicts three figures, a mixture of male and female characters. The man in the center is depicted as an almost supernatural or godlike figure. Both his ankles and helmet have wings attached to them, implying flight. Above this powerful figure is a letter flying from one individual to another, all the while the middle figure has an arrow strung...
  • Lombard Junior High School - Galesburg IL
    The original structure of Lombard Junior High School was originally constructed in 1939 as a federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) project.
  • Loop Station Post Office Mural - Chicago IL
    “The Great Indian Council 1833” is a mural painted by Gustaf Dalstrom, who was a Swedish-American artist that attended the Art Institute of Chicago and at one point was the President of the Chicago Society of Arts. Dalstrom painted many murals for the Treasury Department Section of Painting and Sculpture as known as The Treasury Section of Fine Arts. “The Great Indian Council 1833” was originally painted for the Post Office at 840 North Clark Street where it hung from 1938 (year it was finished) until 1983 when the Post Office was converted to a movie theater. The Mural also originally hung...
  • Lucy Flower High School Mural - Chicago IL
    This fresco "Women's Contribution to American Progress" by Edward Millman was painted with WPA Federal Art Project funds. It depicts Lucy Flower, Grace Abbott, Frances Perkins, Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Clara Barton. There are also allegorical scenes of "Women Sewing" and "Women's Fight for Peace." The mural was painted over in 1941. It was restored between 1995 and 1998.
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