Marblehead Light Repairs – Marblehead MA

The W.P.A. conducted improvement work at Marblehead Light. Project details: “Make repairs at lighthouse” Official Project Number: 165‐15‐2008 Total project cost: $4,345.00 Sponsor: Commanding Officer, Harbor Defense (1st Corps Area USA) “Replace fence” Official Project Number: 365‐14‐8001 Total project cost: $845.00… read more

Marshall Park – Lunenburg MA

WPA Bulletin, 1937: “Picnic Cave Unusual Feature of Playground Lunenburg — An underground cave equipped with a fireplace and picnic facilities for 40 persons is the outstanding feature of Lunenburg’s WPA-built recreation centre at Marshall Field. The grounds also boasts… read more

Massachusetts State Building Mural – Springfield MA

Many of the projects of the New Deal involved large scale public works projects that required hundreds of workers. While this type of project was incredibly important to help alleviate widespread unemployment, there was also a belief that the United… read more

McLean Reservoir Road – Holyoke MA

Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) conducted the improvement work around McLean Reservoir in Holyoke, Massachusetts. WPA Bulletin: At High McLean Reservoir, Holyoke, WPA is improving the travel-way. Work includes widening and eliminating curves, extending culverts, grading gutters for surface drainage and… read more

Memorial Building (Town Hall) Improvements – Framingham MA

Multiple New Deal agencies: the C.W.A., F.E.R.A, and W.P.A. funded labor for the improvement of Framingham’s Memorial Building. The C.W.A. painted the offices and corridors of the Memorial Building in 1933. “The improvement in the looks of the building is… read more

Memorial Drive Overpass and Traffic Circle – Cambridge MA

The Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (a.k.a. Public Works Administration, or PWA) sponsored development of an overpass and traffic circle intersection with Memorial Drive and Brookline St./the Boston University Bridge (formerly Cottage Farm Bridge). 1938 MDC annual report: “Borings were… read more

Memorial School (former) Improvements – Framingham MA

All 17 schoolhouses in Framingham, Massachusetts were painted, remodeled, and/or repaired with federally funded labor during the Great Depression. In 1935 the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (F.E.R.A.) and/or Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) conducted brickwork, installed new copper flashing, finished ceilings,… read more

Metropolitan District Commission Headquarters (demolished) Improvements – Boston MA

W.P.A. project description: “Metropolitan District Commission Headquarters Building; painting, with two coats, all interior walls, columns, partitions, all exterior metal work, window sash and frames, rebronze all radiators and kalsomine all ceilings. The work will be completed about March 1,… read more

Middlesex Fells Reservation Development – Medford MA

The Middlesex Fells Reservation spans multiple towns north of Boston. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Civil Works Administration (CWA), and Works Progress Administration (WPA) were each active in developing the area. Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission annual reports detail the work… read more

Middlesex Fells Reservation: Lawrence Woods Trails – Medford MA

The Middlesex Fells Reservation spans multiple towns north of Boston. Here is a description of a couple of the projects undertaken by the W.P.A. in the park: “Middlesex Fells Reservation; four miles of bridle trails in the Lawrence Woods section of… read more

Middlesex Fells Reservation: Winchester Section Trails – Winchester MA

Description of a W.P.A. project undertaken in 1938: “Middlesex Fells Reservation, Winchester Section; to widen, drain and grade three miles of bridle trails. The trails to be for equestrian, police patrol, fire control and maintenance use.” The Winchester section is the far… read more