• 138th Infantry Regiment Armory (former) - St. Louis MO
    The Public Works Administration (PWA) funded the construction of the 138th Infantry Regiment Armory in St. Louis MO. Completed in 1937, the armory building has been converted to office space. Excerpt from Missouri Armories: The Guard's Home in Architecture and History: "On May 15, 1934, the City of St. Louis approved a bond issue to fund improvements; $15 million of the bond issue, plus a 30 percent grant from the PWA, made construction of the $1,347,000 armory possible... This armory is a large two-story building with a monitor-type roof over a large parade hall." The Missouri National Guard declared the building...
  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Locomotive No. 50 - St. Louis MO
    In 1934, the Public Works Administration (PWA) loaned the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad $900,000 for 16 streamlined cars, one diesel-electric locomotive , and enough "... to rebuild a steam engine to develop exceptionally high speed” (The Bangor Daily News, 1934). The Lady Baltimore and a similar locomotive, the Lord Baltimore, were favorites of the train-watchers; then, "... there came a day in August 1935, when the watchers between New York and Washington saw a new and strange sight as the Royal Blue sped past their bewildered eyes. Instead of the sharp staccato blasts of the Lord Baltimore’s exhaust, they heard...
  • Bayless High School - St. Louis MO
    "This high school is planned so that when the need arises additions may be made. The present building is T-shaped in plan and two stories in height. It provides seven classrooms, teachers' rooms, a principal's office, a chemical laboratory, a library, and a combination auditorium-gymnasium with a stage and bleachers. The auditorium-gymnasium is so arranged that it may be used by the community as well as by the school. The construction is fireproof throughout. The exterior walls are red face brick with wood trim. The columns at the entrance of the auditorium are limestone. The volume of the building is 573,780 cubic...
  • Carr Square Village - St. Louis MO
    Large development of 2 and 3-story apartments just west of downtown St. Louis, interestingly just east of the up-coming and infamous Pruitt –Igoe public housing complex. Carr-Square Village is still in use, a testament to its forethought and sound construction. Although it is 80 years old and has been through a tumultuous time, the units are in good condition and the area seems to be relatively safe. It is in a muti-block area of the city of St. Louis and when constructed was the black public housing complex (the white being Clinton-Peabody). It was developed at the time that the...
  • Central VPA High School - St. Louis MO
    This WPA school was built in 1936-1937 as the Southwest High School. It is now the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. This school has been added onto multiple times and the front of the original building is not visible from the street. The front of the school is within an interior courtyard. 5 statues by Fred Morie representing “Youthful Leadership” were created during the original project. These statues have been moved to the front of the modern part of the building.
  • City Hall Murals - St. Louis MO
    A 1990 St. Louis City Hall History Brochure contains the following description: "The murals inside the Market and Tucker Blvd entrances were painted in 1934 by Carl Bonfig, who was described as a decorator. He was paid $1.37 an hour under a federal works program. He was commissioned to copy existing paintings to create the six murals. Three were completed -- 'The Spirit of St. Louis,' a picture of Charles Lindberg's plane; a painting of the Forest Park statue of King Louis IX on his horse and 'Front Street in 1840,' a copy of a lithograph by Joseph Casper Wild that...
  • Clinton-Peabody Public Housing - St. Louis MO
    The Clinton-Peabody public housing complex was a 2 and 3-story Apartment complex on the near south side of St. Louis which at the time was a predominately white neighborhood. It was the white public housing complex that was built at the same time as Carr Square Village. It is more wide open than either the Carr Square village and Neighborhood Gardens. All 3 remain in use, surrounded to varying degrees by urban desolation.
  • Fairground Park Pool - St. Louis MO
    The pool was refurbished as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in the mid 1930’s. The previous pool was a circular pool that measured 420 feet in diameter and was one of the largest outdoor pools in the world. It could hold between 10 and 25,000 swimmers. At the time of the WPA project, it was a segregated, white’s only pool. Interestingly, Fairground Park in which it is located is a large park on the north side of St. Louis that has an interesting history itself, one facet being that it was the landing spot for the first air mail...
  • Forest Park - St. Louis MO
    Forest Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the nation, just larger than Central Park in NYC. It was the site of the 1904 Worlds Fair and the WPA projects in the park transformed it and brought it up to date, including much clearing of brush in places where it had become overgrown. In places, it truly was and still is a forest. Projects included: roads through-out the park, handball courts, tennis courts (now the Davis Tennis Center), draining lakes that had been constructed for the World's Fair and which had filled in and had debris-filled to an...
  • Forest Park Fish Hatchery - St. Louis MO
    This WPA project included the headquarters building and multiple hatchery ponds. The hatchery became one of the largest producers of fish for the state's waterways.
  • Forest Park: The Jewel Box - St Louis MO
    "This structure houses rare and beautiful plants, trees, and flowers, and is an important unit of the general park improvement program for St. Louis. The steel frame of the building supports structural glass panels on its vertical surfaces which are reasonably hailproof, and the horizontal roofs are metal covered. Great care was taken with the lighting, which was carefully studied with a model of the building before installation. The interest of the public in the displays is so great that more than 1,000,000 people have visited the 'jewel box' since its opening. It was completed in May 1937 at a construction...
  • Fort Belle Fontaine Improvements - St. Louis MO
    Extensive rock work was done from locally quarried limestone, building the Grand Staircase, fireplaces, patios, lily ponds, fencing, and other landscaping items. The site is that of Fort Belle Fontaine, a historic fort initially established on a bluff on the south side of the Missouri River by the French, but important in the War of 1812. The last night of the Lewis and Clark expedition was spent just below the bluff, west of the Changing Rooms. Eleanor Roosevelt visited in 1939. The development was done in part to encourage youths to the Missouri Hills Home for boys.
  • Francis Park - St. Louis MO
    The land on which St. Louis Hills was developed was owned by David Francis, former governor of Missouri and ambassador to Russia in 1916. He donated 60 acres of land for the park in 1917. It was developed as a WPA project with tennis courts, buildings, walkways, ball fields, lily pond, handball and racquetball courts, and bridges. Originally, land owned by David Francis was considered as the site for the St. Louis World’s fair of 1904, but Forest Park was the site chosen.
  • Gamble Community Center - St. Louis MO
    This two-story Modern Deco brick building was completed in 1938 by the Public Works Administration to serve as the community recreation center for this part of St. Louis. The center is still in operation. The community center is surrounded by a large playground.
  • Gwen B. Giles Station Post Office - St. Louis MO
    The historic Gwen B. Giles Station post office—also known as Wellston Station (prior to a Congressional renaming)—in St. Louis, Missouri, was constructed with federal Treasury Department funds between 1936 and 1937. The building, which houses a New Deal mural inside, is still in use today.
  • Gwen B. Giles Station Post Office Mural - St. Louis MO
    The historic Gwen B. Giles Station post office—also known as Wellston Station (prior to a Congressional renaming)—in St. Louis, Missouri contains a 1939 Section of Fine Arts mural by Lumen Winter entitled "Old Levee and Market at St. Louis." The mural depicts a view of the St. Louis levee to the right with a steamboat and the market to the left in the background. There are contrasting groupings in the foreground with a family hurrying to get out of the way of the stagecoach which the driver is attempting to slow despite the wildness of the black horse. By contrast, the...
  • Homer G. Phillips Hospital (Former) - St. Louis MO
    Homer G. Phillips Hospital was built from 1932-1936 and dedicated in 1937. It was a segregated black hospital in a highly segregated city at the time. The initial funding for the hospital was a bond issue in 1922 for $1,000,000 plus an additional $200,000 contributed by the City government. These funds were unused for 9 years due to indecision as to whether to build a wing onto the City Hospital or construct a new hospital. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided the remaining funds necessary to construct the hospital. The dedication ceremony included a speech by Harold Ickes, Secretary of the...
  • Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Improvements - St. Louis MO
    "From April 1936 through the early 1940s, Depression-era government make-work programs brought improvements to the cemetery. Works Progress Administration (WPA) laborers were responsible for building 23,000’ of hard-surfaced roads and walks, 46,000’ concrete curbs, nearly 16,000’ of "asphalt macadam" roads, and resurfacing of the same. They also removed some of the original stone wall and constructed nearly 4,600’ of "common ashler (sic) stone wall, as well as miscellaneous grading. In 1946 a new stone boundary wall and entrance gate were erected. The WPA renovated the 1872 brick rostrum that measured 23’x 38’ in 1941."
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial - St. Louis MO
    The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a large park along the Mississippi River maintained by the National Park Service. It contains the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch. The construction of the park lasted for multiple decades. The WPA and the PWA were both involved in demolition and site preparation of the Memorial's 82-acre site from 1935 through the early 1940s. The initial need for development of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial with its iconic arch was the clearing of the buildings in the area of the development, saving as much historical information as possible. Additionally, there was the country’s largest “Hooverville”...
  • Laundry Building, City Hospital Complex - St. Louis MO
    This free-standing brick façade laundry facility was completed in 1940 by the Public Works Administration to service the St. Louis City Hospital complex including the City Hospital, Malcolm Bliss Psychopathologic Institute, and clinic. It is a red brick building in the Georgian style and is along the same style as the original City Hospital Building. City Hospital closed its doors in 1985. In 2008 the building was repurposed as a private event space, retaining the building's original architectural features.
  • Main Post Office - St. Louis MO
    This large post office was constructed with U.S. Treasury Department funding between 1935 and 1937. Note the extensive use of inlaid depictions of postal service, state of the art at the time. Inside, the grillwork is lush as are the center islands where patrons were able to fill out forms, etc.
  • Main Post Office Murals - St. Louis MO
    The post office contains nine stunning murals by artists Edward Millman and Mitchell Siporin. Depicting the "cycle on history of the region," this massive project was the largest single project awarded for a Post Office by the Treasury Section. The award shared by the 2 was $29,000. The labels following each mural describe the contents quite well, but as Park and Markowitz noted, the works were not depicting the usual classical conquest, but instead showed Indians and Black slaves working the lead mines well before statehood, the Dred Scott Decision, and the struggles during and after the Civil War. The...
  • Mound City Cemetery Soldiers' Lot Improvements - Mound City KS
    VA.gov: "The Soldiers' Lot occupies Lots 262 and 263 of Woodland Cemetery, covering less than 0.2 acres." NPS.gov: "In 1940, laborers of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a depression-era work relief program, erected an enclosing stone wall and post-and-chain fence around the perimeter of the soldiers' lot."
  • Municipal Bathhouse Number 6 - St. Louis MO
    Bathhouse number 6 was the last bathhouse built in St. Louis during the time when the need for bathing by those with no indoor plumbing was a critical problem. They were built in those areas of the city with the highest concentrations of laborers. Less than 1 in 1,000 of the 25% poorest had indoor plumbing. This bathhouse was built by the PWA in 1936-1937 for $42,763. This bathhouse has 2 doors, men's to the right, women's to the left.
  • Neighborhood Gardens - St. Louis MO
    Neighborhood Gardens is part of the first round of federally backed public housing in America. Only 7 projects were completed in this earliest phase, including Harlem River Houses in New York City and Techwood Homes in Atlanta. The program provided loans to limited dividend corporations to clear slums and build low-rent housing projects. The program proved slow and unwieldy, and was replaced by the PWA's direct-subsidy program in 1935, out of which 52 projects were completed. These programs were discontinued with the passage of the 1937 Housing Act that established the US Housing Authority. However, most historians agree that the...
  • Peabody Opera House - St. Louis MO
    This building was originally part of the St. Louis Municipal Auditorium complex and was then known as the Kiel Opera House. The rest of the complex was later demolished, and this building became the Peabody Opera House. It was begun in 1932 primarily with bond funding, but it was completed with additional funds from the PWA.
  • Power Plant, City Hospital Complex - St. Louis MO
    Completed by the Public Works Administration in 1937 to serve the City Hospital complex, the Power Building is a tall 3-story building with high ceilings on all floors. It is rectangular and covered with red brick. There is a tall brick smokestack. The building has been repurposed and currently houses a climbing gym, an elegant restaurant, and other businesses.
  • River Des Peres Flood Control - St. Louis MO
    The River Des Peres runs through St. Louis and forms the backbone of the sanitary and stormwater systems of the city. In the 1930s, the river was channelized by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Horner & Shifrin, and the WPA as a flood control and public health measure.  The river extends from University in an arc to south St. Louis to empty into the Mississippi River. Portions of the “River” are underground, particularly through Forest Park. The work done by the WPA to line the muddy banks of the river was done in response to infestation of mosquitoes in...
  • Services Building, City Hospital Complex, St. Louis - MO
    The Public Works Administration completed this services building for the St. Louis City Hospital Complex in 1940. The red brick building is vacant at the present, but is currently for sale. Surrounding buildings have been successfully repurposed and this building has the same potential with solid construction and architecture consistent with the surrounding buildings. "St. Louis City Hospital was the city's primary public hospital. For most of the 20th Century, it operated out of this multi-level, multiple-building complex, whose earliest structures dated from 1906. By the time it reached its developmental apex in 1970, it included 12 buildings total (7 of...
  • Soldiers' Memorial Building - St Louis MO
    "This building was erected as a memorial to soldiers who lost their lives in the World War. In the center hall on the first floor is a black granite cenotaph bearing the names of the soldiers. On each side is a museum containing World War relics, records, and other data. Surrounding the structure are 38 square columns, 5 by 5 feet, and 35 feet high. The building is one unit of a well-planned civic center, the construction being of steel and reinforced concrete. The walls are faced with limestone. Marble and granite were used extensively. It is 190 by 89 feet,...
  • Soldiers' Memorial Building Sculptures - St. Louis MO
    Four striking limestone sculptures were created by Walker Hancock as part of a Federal Art Project Commission. The work, “Courage, Vision, Sacrifice, Loyalty” was installed around the entrances to St. Louis's historic Soldiers' Memorial in 1939. UMSL.edu: "Walker Hancock, a St. Louis native, created the beautiful statues that adorn both entrances to the Soldiers Memorial. Hancock attended Washington Universtiy, where he studied under Victor Holm. He was not the first choice to create the statues, but when the first artist could not fulfill the obligation, Hancock was next in line. The statues were created during the heart of the depression and a New...
  • South Kingshighway Viaduct - St. Louis MO
    This bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad on South Kingshighway Boulevard just south of Interstate 44 was built by the WPA and the Missouri State Highway Department in 1936. Extensive structural problems, some related to earthquakes, have made this bridge unsafe with a 20 ton weight limit. It is scheduled for replacement.
  • Street Car Rail Salvaging - St. Louis MO
    The Work Projects Administration (WPA) salvaged more than 6,000 tons of street car rails in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Sylvan Springs Beverage Garden - St. Louis MO
    The old "Beverage Garden" is part of the Jefferson Barracks Historic Site in Sylvan Springs Park. It was constructed by the CCC in 1939. It consists of a sunken patio with a stream running through it and surrounded by decorative walls of stone in a classic CCC type construction. There is a plaque in the wall on the east side of the gardens. It served as a “beer garden” in the run-up to and during WW2, being immediately adjacent to Jefferson Barracks. It is no longer in use, however much of the stonework remains.
  • Tandy Park Recreation Center - St. Louis MO
    Constructed of a “restrained Art Deco style”, it has a limestone façade with terra cotta decorative elements, similar to though smaller than those on the adjacent Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Upstairs, there is a gymnasium, the basement being a swimming pool and locker rooms. The center was named after a black Civil War hero and politician.
  • Turner Middle School - St. Louis MO
    This art deco style building was constructed by the PWA in 1938-1940. It was originally occupied by Stowe Teachers College, a college for black educators. It was named after Charles Turner, an educator and scientist.
  • U.S. Court and Custom House - St. Louis MO
    The U.S. Court and Custom House in St. Louis was constructed using U.S. Treasury Department funds between 1933 and 1935. "The U.S. Court/Custom House is located at Tucker and Market Streets. The building has 1/2 Egyptian Style columns in a giant order covering five floors. Eagles in an ancient Assyrian manner are on the corners. Stylized eagles are also located on the other side of the 12th and 11th Street entrances. The corners of the building are rounded, carved stone figures representing justice frame, the main entrance on Market Street." (https://stlcin.missouri.org) The statues outside the main entrance were created by Benjamin Hawkins...
  • University City Station Post Office - St. Louis MO
    St. Louis's historic University Station post office was constructed with federal Treasury Department funds during the Great Depression. The building was completed in 1938 and is still in use today. A New Deal mural, "The Louisiana Purchase Exposition," hangs inside.
  • University City Station Post Office Mural - St. Louis MO
    The mural "The Louisiana Purchase Exposition" was painted by Trew Hocker. The New Deal artwork was installed in the lobby of St. Louis's University City Station post office and is still visible today.
  • Vashon Community Center - St. Louis MO
    Along with Tandy, Gamble, and Carver House recreation centers, Vashon Community Center was constructed as one of four community recreation centers to served the African-American population in St. Louis. Vashon Community Center served the population living in the Mill Creek area of St. Louis, MO which was a mixed use area with manufacturing and housing. Although it was built in 1936, it was not finished until 1937, a delay of 8 months which caused a great deal of controversy and claims of indifference by the city government towards the population. When completed, however it quickly became a center of the...