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  • Macon County Courthouse - Decatur IL
    The historic, Art Deco, Macon County Courthouse (a.k.a. Macon County Building) in Decatur, Illinois was constructed as a New Deal project with the assistance of federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds.
  • Madison Post Office Mural - Madison IL
    A. Raymond Katz painted this oil on canvas mural, entitled "Assimilation of the Immigrant into the Industrial Life of Madison," in 1940 with funds provided by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. It is viewable in the Madison post office mural.
  • Manley High School Murals - Chicago IL
    These three murals by Gustaf Dahlstrom - "Fall," "Winter" and "Summer," each about 12'7" h x 9'8"w - were found in 1996 during a lead abatement program. Restored in 2002, they had been painted over three times.  
  • Margaret Cross Norton Building - Springfield IL
    The records building housing the Illinois State Archives, now known as the Margaret Cross Norton Building, was built during the 1930s with New Deal funds. SJ-R.com: “A bunch of World War I records were burned up ,” said David Joens, director of the Illinois State Archives. “The archivist at the time, Margaret Cross Norton, who was the first director of the State Archives and a real leader in the archives field, had been lobbying to get our own archives building and that certainly served as the impetus to get it.” The building was constructed for $820,000, with help of $500,000 the state...
  • Mark Twain Memorial Bridge (demolished) - Hannibal MO to IL
    The former Mark Twain Memorial Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River between Hannibal, Missouri and Illinois, was constructed as a Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) project. The P.W.A. supplied a $357,000 loan and $169,507 grant for the project, whose total cost was $721,505. Construction occurred between Oct. 1934 and Jul. 1936. A preserved portion of the old Mark Twain Memorial Bridge remains on the west bank of the Mississippi River in the Cardiff Hill Overlook Park, A plaque exists in some concrete railing preserved in place and notes its Federal Emergency funding and was Project No. 3624. The bridge was formally dedicated by...
  • Marquette Park - Chicago IL
    "Using federal relief funds, the park district soon converted the golf shelter into a more substantial fieldhouse, and built comfort stations, and a series of footbridges leading to the islands."
  • Mason Elementary School Mural - Chicago IL
    The mural "Spring and Fall" was painted by Grace Spongberg in 1939 with support from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Massac County Courthouse - Metropolis IL
    The Massac County Courthouse in Metropolis is one of six New Deal county courthouses built by the New Deal.  It would have been funded by the Public Works Administration (PWA), not the WPA, as commonly thought. The design, by architect S. Lester Daly, is Federal style.  It is a brick building, two-stories high with a raised basement. It has a formal, column-flanked main entrance and side entrances reached by white stairways.  In a classic piece of Americana, the courthouse location has been renamed 1 Superman Square and a statue of the cartoon character stands on a plinth saying “TRUTH – JUSTICE –...
  • Maze Branch Public Library - Oak Park IL
    In Feb. 1936 the Tribune reported Oak Park would be building a new branch of their public library thanks to a grant from the Public Works Administration (PWA). Library directors proposed the idea for the expansion. They wanted the South Branch of the library, which opened in 1915, to be moved to a new location at the corner of Gunderson Avenue and Harrison Street. A new site was purchased and a budget of $65,000 was proposed, $22,677 of which would be covered by the PWA. Construction got underway and by the fall of 1936 the South Branch of the Oak...
  • McKay School Decorative Landscapes Mural - Chicago IL
    This mural was originally a four-panel screen. Its three remaining panels, each 8' x 4', were restored in 2001.  
  • McKee House - Lombard IL
    This former home/headquarters to the first Superintendent of Dupage Forest Preserve, Robert L. McKee, was constructed with the assistance of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The limestone quarried for this building was done by McDowell Grove CCC Camp workers. The building is currently vacant and in disrepair.
  • Melrose Park Public Library Mural - Melrose Park IL
    The Melrose Park Library is located in the building that was previously the main post office for Melrose Park. In 2007 "Airmail" was rediscovered hidden by a drop ceiling. It was painted by Edwin Boyd Johnson in 1937 with funding from the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. Medium: fresco Size: 8' long, 4 1/2 high Restoration Info: Restored by Parma Conservation and returned to Melrose Park in 2010.
  • Merle Reskin (former Blackstone) Theater Renovation - Chicago IL
    On March 8, 1936, The Chicago Daily Tribune  announced the arrival of The Federal Theatre Project (FTP) at two major theaters in Chicago: the Great Northern and the Blackstone. Over the life of the FTP, the Blackstone Theater was used for over twenty productions. The Federal Theater Project was part of the Federal One program under the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The FTP put on public performance but did not normally engage in public works like the rest of the WPA.  Yet, prior to the FTPs acquisition of the Blackstone, it had fallen into a state of disrepair and needed renovations to...
  • Mills and Petrie Memorial Library and Auditorium - Ashton IL
    "This building constitutes a cultural and recreational community center. It was constructed with a donation of site and of $40,000 by a citizen of Ashton and with the aid of the P.W.A. It provides a public library, a stack room, a combination auditorium and gymnasium with a stage and men's and women's locker rooms, a kitchen, and a room for the American Legion. It is a fireproof structure and the exterior walls are a light-colored brick trimmed with stone. The auditorium-gymnasium is used by the high school as well as by the public. It was completed in June 1936 at a...
  • Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway System - Chicago IL
    In February 1939, bids were collected by the city subway department to begin construction for the first section of the Milwaukee-Dearborn street subway system that would create a 3,322 foot section of the tunnel between Chicago and Haddon avenues ("Dearborn St. Subway"). This system was part of a larger four part plan to build a large scale 50 mile subway system ("Four Stages"). The expansion would extend rapid service by adding additional subways and connecting existing elevated tracks. The project was largely funded by the New Deal's Public Works Administration after plans were completed and agreements were made in 1938....
  • Montrose Beach - Chicago IL
    "With extensive funding available through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the park district began many park improvements, including the Montrose to Foster landfill extension. The plan for the extension included several buildings, and all of them were designed by E.V. Buchsbaum, one of which was the beach house. It was modeled after the North Avenue Beach House, and looks like a lake steamer. Unfortunately, in the 1950s, the east wing of the beach house burned in a fire, which was not rebuilt. Instead, the Park District constructed an open-air changing addition to the south side of the building. Today, the...
  • Moore Home State Historic Site - Lerna IL
    The Moore Home was the home of Abraham Lincoln's stepsister. Lincoln saw his stepmother Sarah Bush Lincoln here for the last time January 31, 1861. The Civilian Conservation Corps dismantled the dilapidated structure and reconstructed it using as much of the original materials as possible.
  • Morgan Park Post Office - Chicago IL
    The historic Morgan Park post office in Chicago, Illinois was constructed with federal Treasury Department funds in 1936. The building is still in service.
  • Morrill Elementary School Mural - Chicago IL
    The two 2'6" x 30' panels of this mural "Children's Activities" by Lucile Ward were completed with the help of WPA Federal Art Project funds in 1938 and restored in 2001.
  • Mound City National Cemetery Improvements - Mound City IL
    Mound City National Cemetery was improved as part of Federal Project F-87 by the federal Civil Works Administration (CWA). The work done "included the resetting, realigning and cleaning of headstones ... as well as the filling-in of sunken graves."
  • Mount Greenwood Elementary School - Chicago IL
    A Public Works Administration grant helped fund the construction of Mount Greenwood Elementary School at 108th Street and South Homan Avenue in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood. The new school was designed by Board of Education architect John Charles Christensen. The two-story, brick structure included fifteen classrooms, a gymnasium, and an assembly hall. The architectural style of the building, characterized by a low horizontal profile, wide window openings, and geometric brickwork patterns, is similar to that of many other neighborhood schools designed by Christensen during the 1930s. Construction work on the new school began in March 1936 and was completed in...
  • Mozart School: Finch Mural - Chicago IL
    This 10' x 15' mural "Michelangelo in the Medici Gardens, 1490" was painted by Helen Finch in 1937 with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Mozart School: Freeman Mural - Chicago IL
    "Characters From Children's Literature," consisting of two 6' x 20' panels, was painted by Charles Freeman in 1937 with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Mozart School: Gibson Mural - Chicago IL
    This 6' x 20' mural "Mozart at the Court of Maria Theresa, 1762" was painted by Elizabeth Gibson in 1937 with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • Mt. Vernon Township High School Expansion - Mt. Vernon IL
    Mt. Vernon Township high school was expanded during the 1930s with the assistance of federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds. The school's original building B was supplemented by three new structures Buildings A, D, and E (a classroom building, an auditorium, and a gymnasium). Credit for the structures is sometimes mis-attributed to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) (e.g., on Wikipedia, below). In the 2010s, a new school was built 5 miles away on the SW edge of town and the old school was torn down in 2017-18, according to the Jefferson County Historical Society. Apparently, the loss of the venerable Changnon Gymnasium...
  • Municipal Swimming Pool - Galena IL
    "Galena wanted better fire protection. They also began efforts to get the federal government to build the new station. They would ultimately be successful, the government having already built a new public swimming pool for the community..."
  • Nancy Hill Elementary School Ceramic Tile Lunettes - Aurora IL
    Emmanuel Viviano created these ceramic tile lunettes with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project. Located at Nancy Hill School in Aurora IL, the four ceramic tile lunettes are signed by Emmanuel Vivianno. The four lunettes are: Deer, Dear and Fawn, Sheep and Wart Hog. They each measure approximately 2 feet by 4 feet. In their original location, the lunettes were set in alcoves, located above water fountains on the first and second floor of the school. The school was scheduled to be torn down in the Summer of 2017 and the tiles were relocated to a new school building. Pictured are the...
  • Nancy Hill Memorial Plaque - Aurora IL
    Walnut plaque created/signed by PeterPaul Ott in memory of Nancy Hill. "A Memory of Nancy L. Hill, Principal, West Aurora Schools 1903 - 1928." The plaque currently is on display in the north entrance corridor of the school. Please note that this school is scheduled to be demolished in the Summer of 2017.
  • NBC Building Mural - Chicago IL
    The two panels of this mural titled "History of Transportation" are part of a 31' long panorama originally installed at Lawson School. The mural was painted by Gustaf Dahlstrom with support from the WPA's Federal Art Project.
  • Nettelhorst School Mural - Chicago IL
    "This abstract mural by Rudolph Weisenborn, made in 1939, is a treasured New Deal artifact located in Nettlehorst Elementary School in Chicago." (Flynn and Polese) The mural is entitled "Contemporary Chicago." "Rudolph Weisenborns mural at Nettelhorst Elementary shows his interest in modern European painting styles such as Cubism. Fractured space, jagged lines, and vibrant primary colors convey Chicagos energy and modernity during the 1930s. On the left, an abstracted portrait of a sophisticated urban dweller is followed by forms of modern transportation such as small biplanes at Chicago Municipal Airport (Midway) and boats on Lake Michigan. The right half of the composition shows...
  • Nettlehorst School Mural - Chicago IL
    The 3'2" x 8'6" mural "Horses in Literature," which hangs in Chicago, Illinois's Nettlehorst School, was painted by Ethel Spears during the Great Depression with Federal Art Project funds.
  • New Trier Township High School Mural - Winnetka IL
    An unknown artist painted this oil on canvas mural, located in Room M284 of New Trier High School, in 1937 with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project. The mural measures 8' by 8'6".
  • New Trier Township High School: Albright Self-Portrait - Winnetka IL
    Ivan Albright’s 1934 self-portrait is his first ever known painted self-portrait (of many to be created throughout his life). It was made as part of the PWAP’s easel painting project. He personally requested it be presented to his alma mater, New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois. It has remained in the school’s collection, and an alumnus states that it is currently on display in a hallway outside Music Building Room M-284. “Due to the value of the Albright painting, we cannot display it securely in our high school buildings. We regularly loan it to art museums, most recently DePaul’s”...
  • Nichols Middle School Mural - Evanston IL
    This mural "Town Meeting" was produced with WPA Federal Art Project funds and painted by Archibald J. Motley, Jr.
  • North Avenue Beach and Facilities - Chicago IL
    Prior to being a sun-bathing destination, the area now known as the North Avenue Beach was a final resting place for thousands of Chicagoans. In 1835, Chicago authorities set aside land for two cemeteries, one on the south and north sides of the city, according to Feb. 28, 1931 Chicago Tribune article. The cemetery held more than 3,100 burial lots and extended on either side of Clark Street and North Avenue. Although the remnants of those individuals were supposed to removed in 1865, about 200 bodies were left, some of which were discovered Feb. 28, 1931 as workers were doing...
  • O'Toole School Bas Relief - Chicago IL
    This ceramic relief "Physical Education" by Louise Pain was created with funding from the WPA Federal Art Project.
  • O'Toole School Mural - Chicago IL
    The O'Toole School contains a WPA mural entitled "Characters from Children's Literatur" by Alex Topp (Topchevsky). "Alex Topp was born in Chicago, where he studied at the Hull House under his older brother Morris and earned his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. Topchevsky worked for the WPA as an easel painter and executed murals for multiple government buildings. He traveled and painted in Mexico, Central America and Europe and is known for his social realist works from the 1930s and 1940s."   (richardnortongallery.com) Medium: tempera on canvas Size: 5'3"h x 24'w
  • Oak Park Historical Society Murals - Oak Park IL
        Frances Badger completed these two oil-on-canvas murals, entitled "Sailor with Spyglass" and "Treasure Island," in 1936 with funds provided by the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. They were originally painted for the Louis Stevenson Playground but have since been moved to the second floor of the Oak Park Historical Society, where they were restored in 1996. A third mural at that site has been lost. Badger "was one of the foremost female WPA artists in Illinois. In addition to her murals in Oak Park, she also painted four murals for what was then a girls' detention center in Joliet and...
  • Oak Park School Bas Reliefs - Aurora IL
    Bas relief murals depicting agricultural and economic themes were completed between 1938 and 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
  • Oak Ridge Cemetery Improvements - Springfield IL
    "The WPA would later aid in ... Oak Ridge Cemetery" improvement projects.
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