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  • Betsy Head Pool - Brooklyn NY
    In 1936 the Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, New York, "was redesigned extensively and the Olympic-sized swimming pool was constructed. Architect John Matthews Hatton’s pool house exemplified the sleek Art Moderne style with liberal use of glass block and a parasol roof. One of eleven pools built by the Works Progress Administration during the summer of 1936, the pool is a relic of the New Deal era. The construction project, organized by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, and funded by the federal government, was part of a citywide effort to erect recreational facilities in under-served neighborhoods. The pools represented the forefront of...
  • Bill Brown Playground - Brooklyn NY
    The Department of Parks announced the opening of this new playground on Bedford Ave. on October 14, 1935. As researcher Frank da Cruz explains here, almost all New York City Parks Department projects between 1934 and 1943 were accomplished with New Deal funds and/or labor. After its inception in 1935, the WPA quickly became the main source of relief funds and labor for the NYC Parks Department. In a 1939 study, The Works Progress Administration in New York City (pp. 101-102), future Columbia University professor John Millett describes the WPA's deep involvement: “The city Parks Department planned all work-relief activities in city...
  • Blandina Street Sewer - Utica NY
    A National Archives photo caption describes a sizable federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) project undertaken in Utica, New York: "300 WPA workers building a new sewer line on Blandina Street, Utica, NY, which replaces an old sewer laid 66 years (ago). This job is being finished in 8 days - 2 days ahead of schedule- working 24 hours daily, 7 days a week. Cost will be $1000 under estimate." (FERI)
  • Bleecker Stadium - Albany NY
    The Federal Writers' Project's guide to New York State explained: "Bleecker Stadium, Clinton Ave. between Swinburne Park and Ontario St., with a field house of Georgian Colonial design, was built by the WPA. It seats 10,000 and has two baseball fields, a football field, a quarter-mile track, jumping and vaulting pits, and tennis courts." "The stadium opened on Thanksgiving Day 1934. The clubhouse was built in 1940 under the Works Progress Administration..."   (wikipedia.org)
  • Borden Avenue Improvements - Queens NY
    The federal Work Projects Administration undertook a large road repair project starting in 1935 in the borough of Queens. The streets, many of which in New York City were still unpaved, were repaired; particular emphasis was placed on fixing washout-damaged stretches of road. Holes were filled in and the streets were smoothed, surfaced and reconditioned. Roads improved as part of this project (WPA Official Project No. 65-97-9) included stretches of Borden Avenue.
  • Borough Hall Improvements - Brooklyn NY
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) undertook a sizable public building improvement project in Brooklyn, New York beginning in 1935.  The project involved the "Improvement of Public Buildings and Offices" at more than 30 locations, including Brooklyn's Borough Hall.
  • Borough Hall Improvements - Staten Island NY
    The federal Works Progress Administration worked to "renovate and repair" several buildings in Staten Island as part of a $225,507 project begun in 1935. Buildings improved included Staten Island's Borough Hall.
  • Borough Hall Murals - Staten Island NY
    The grand lobby of Borough Hall contains a series of Depression Era bas-reliefs and 13 large murals painted by Frederick Charles Stahr in 1940 under the auspices of the WPA Arts Project. The murals illustrate important events in Staten Island history. With only slight exaggeration, a local source claims that "the murals are the largest and most accessible WPA collection in New York City" (Staten Island USA)  They are, in any case, hugely impressive. There are thirteen 6.5 x 13-foot oil-on-canvas murals.  The individual titles are: Giovanni da Verrazzano Discovers Staten Island, 1524 Henry Hudson Anchors off Staaten Eylandt in 1609 Cornelius Melyn Trades...
  • Borough Hall Murals (missing) - Brooklyn NY
    "During May and June 1946, two 900-square-foot murals depicting three centuries of local history were unceremoniously removed from the cavernous two-story rotunda of Brooklyn Borough Hall less than a decade after their creation. The murals, titled "Brooklyn Past and Present," were the work of a relatively unknown artist named Alois Fabry Jr., who had been commissioned to produce them through the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. Sprawling and detailed, interspersed with touches of whimsy and based on three months of prodigious research, they imbued the borough's central administrative office building with a sweeping monumentality." The murals are missing and...
  • Boulevard Gardens Apartments - Woodside NY
    Boulevard Gardens was founded in 1935 as part of the United States’ New Deal initiative. The development is presently a co-op development encompassing 12 acres, with ten buildings of six stories each -- a total of 968 residences. Operated under the New York City Housing Authority, the project was designed by architect Theodore H. Englehardt in concert with landscape architect C. N. Lowrie. It was completed with a Federal loan of $3,450,000 from the Public Works Administration in Woodside, Queens.
  • Boulevard Station Post Office - Bronx NY
    The historic Boulevard Station post office in the Bronx, New York was constructed with federal Treasury Department funds in 1936. The building is still in use today.
  • Bowery Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant - Queens NY
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided resources for the construction of what was then known as the Bowery Bay Pumping Station. The facility, which bears a 1940 cornerstone, has since been expanded. "Under the auspices of the New York Department of Sanitation, between 1937 and 1944, three new wastewater treatment plants were constructed — Wards Island in Manhattan, and Bowery Bay and Tallman Island in Queens. These facilities were designed to reduce pollutants in the Harlem River and in the East River, whose dark and murky waters had some of the lowest dissolved oxygen concentrations in the harbor. During the summer...
  • Bowery Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant: Cast Reliefs - Queens NY
    In 1939 the Works Progress Administration (WPA) commissioned a set of four cast reliefs for inclusion on the facade of the then-new Bowery Bay Pumping Station in Queens, New York. The works, which depict men at work engaging in sewage management jobs, were created by Cesare Stea and still grace the front of the building along Berrian Blvd.
  • Bowne Park Playground - Flushing NY
    Parks acquired this property by condemnation in the mid 1920s. In December, 1935, the Department of Parks announced the opening of a new playground on the site. The press release announcing the opening explained that it, and the other 12 playgrounds opened on the same day, collectively contained: “88 small swings; 72 large swings; 36 seesaws; 14 playhouses; 15 large slides; 11 sand tables; 10 garden swings; 7 small slides; 7 small tables; 6 handball courts; 6 jungle gyms; 5 shuffleboard courts; 5 wading pools; 4 parallel bars; 3 horizontal bars; 3 horizontal ladders; 3 horseshoe pitching, etc.; 2 basketball...
  • Breezy Point Jetty - Queens NY
    "Breezy Point began in the early 20th century as a shantytown called Irish Riviera. Then, the sandy sliver of land that lies on the far western edge of Rockaway Island was considerably thinner than it is today. In 1935, as part of the New Deal, the federal government built a jetty to keep sand from accumulating at the mouth of New York Harbor. Behind this boulder jetty, the sandbar grew considerably and allowed year-round residencies."   (https://www.eenews.net) "The land began accreting in Breezy Point after the Federal Government built a jetty on the peninsula's westernmost tip in 1935 to prevent sand from clogging...
  • Breininger Park - Jamaica NY
    The City acquired Breininger Park (previously known as Braddock Park) in 1938. The Department of Parks officially announced the opening of the park in August 1939: "In Queens, the new playground is located at Braddock Avenue and 240 Street, in the Queens Village section, where a three and one half acre plot, on which there is a fine stand of mature shade trees, was acquired as an adjacent playground site in connection with the Belt Parkway, from which it is three blocks distant. A feature of this playground is a large oval lawn surrounded by a roller skating rink. A comfort...
  • Bridge Construction - Freehold NY
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) photo pictured here notes that this bridge replaced an old pratt truss structure that was "...badly damaged by the 1936 floods."  The photo is dated January 5, 1937. The Living New Deal does not know the present status or exact location of this project.  
  • Bridge Street Bridge - Corning NY
    The Bridge Street Bridge (originally known as the Chemung River Bridge) in Corning, New York was constructed as a federal Public Works Administration (PWA) project. The PWA provided a $119,437 grant for the project, whose total cost was $268,681. Construction occurred between Nov. 1936 and Dec. 1937. The bridge bears a PWA plaque. PWA Docket No. NY 1290-D.
  • Brizzi Playground - Brooklyn NY
    New York City's Parks Department writes: ", formerly named the 43rd St. Playground, is bounded by 42nd and 43rd Streets and 10th & New Utrecht Avenues. It was acquired through condemnation and assigned to Parks for playground purposes in 1938. The playground was designed and constructed the same year by the Works Progress Administration ..." The completion of the playground was officially announced on March 18, 1939.
  • Broad Hollow Road Beautification - Melville NY
    Five Suffolk County highway beautification projects, directed by the WPA, put approximately 1,000 men to work for seven months beginning April 1936. The projects included "the Broad Hollow road from Huntington to Amityville."
  • Broadway Auditorium (former) Improvements - Buffalo NY
    Broadway Auditorium in Buffalo, New York was improved substantially ca. 1936 by federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor. 150 men were put to work as part of this effort. The building now serves as a municipal Streets Department warehouse.
  • Broadway Improvements - Long Beach NY
    The federal Work Projects Administration worked to improve Broadway in Long Beach, New York during the 1930s. One project called for the "surfacing constructing sidewalks, curbs, and leaching basins."
  • Broadway Improvements - Saranac Lake NY
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) improved Broadway in Saranac Lake, New York, including replacing brick paving with concrete and reconstructing its sidewalks.
  • Bronx Boulevard Improvements - Bronx NY
    The federal Work Projects Administration (WPA) put many men to work starting in 1935 with street repair and maintenance projects that improved roads throughout the Bronx. The work pictured here shows WPA laborers on the Bronx Boulevard construction project.  
  • Bronx County Courthouse - Bronx NY
    The Bronx County Courthouse was built on the cusp between FDR's governorship in New York and the federal New Deal of his presidency.  It was approved in 1928 and construction begun in 1931, but the work was not completed until 1933 or 1934, when Mayor LaGuardia officially dedicated the building. As researcher Frank da Cruz explains, " FDR did not become president until 1933, before that he was the governor of New York State and had already begun the New Deal right here to provide work relief and build worthwhile projects, such as the Bronx campus of Hunter College." There was evidently an injection of...
  • Bronx County Jail (demolished) - Bronx NY
    Later known as the Bronx House of Detention for Men, the Bronx County Jail was constructed during the 1930s, a project aided by federal Public Works Administration funds (Docket No. NY 9050X). Located at East 151st St. and River Ave., the building was designed Joseph H. Freedlander and constructed at an estimated cost of $1,418,529. The building was ("substantially") finished on November 20, 1937. According to a PWA architect's survey, the eight-to-nine-story, 248-foot-long enamel-white brick structure was "of such ornate design that it is readily mistaken for an office structure." The building contained 243 cells, "of which 21 are for women." The...
  • Bronx General Post Office - Bronx NY
    The historic Bronx General Post Office was built from 1935 to 1937.   It was designed by consulting architect Thomas Harlan Ellett (1880-1951) for the Treasure Department's Office of the Supervising Architect, Louis Simon. The building is constructed of smooth gray brick, features graceful arched window openings, and is surrounded at the base by a granite terrace. The post office is fronted by two New Deal sculptures by Henry Kreis and Charles Rudy.  Inside there is a large set of murals by Ben Shahn.  The sculptures were landmarked by the city of New York in 1975 and the murals were landmarked in 2013. In 2014 the post office was closed...
  • Bronx General Post Office Murals - Bronx NY
    The Bronx General Post Office houses a set of 13 magnificent mural panels—collectively titled "Resources of America"— by Ben Shahn and Bernarda Bryson Shahn. A Lehman College Guide to Public Art in the Bronx has this to say about the Shahn murals: "In the fall of 1938 Ben Shahn, assisted by his wife Bernarda Bryson Shahn, began work on the cartoons for a major cycle of thirteen egg tempera on plaster frescos for the Bronx General Post Office. The project was created under the US Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture, a new deal art program which produced public works in federal...
  • Bronx General Post Office: Kreis Sculpture - Bronx NY
    The Bronx General Post Office contains superb examples of New Deal art, added in 1938-39 under the Treasure Section of Fine Arts program.  Inside are 13 mural panels by Ben Shahn and his wife, Bernarda;  on the exterior wall, flanking the entrance, are  two limestone sculptures by Charles Rudy and Henry Kreis.  On the left, as one faces the building, is "Noah" by Rudy; on the right, "The Letter" by Kreis. A Guide to Public Art in the Bronx from Lehman College has this to add: " The awards, announced by the Treasury Department, were made unanimously by the judges, Paul Manship, Edward McCartan and Maurice Sterne, sculptors, and...
  • Bronx General Post Office: Rudy Sculpture - Bronx NY
    The Bronx General Post Office contains superb examples of New Deal art, added in 1938-39 under the Treasure Section of Fine Arts program.  Inside are 13 mural panels by Ben Shahn and his wife, Bernarda;  on the exterior wall, flanking the entrance, are  two limestone sculptures by Charles Rudy and Henry Kreis.  On the left, as one faces the building, is "Noah" by Rudy; on the right, "The Letter" by Kreis. A Guide to Public Art in the Bronx from Lehman College has this to add: " The awards, announced by the Treasury Department, were made unanimously by the judges, Paul Manship, Edward McCartan and Maurice Sterne, sculptors, and...
  • Bronx Park North - Bronx NY
    "Until 1937, the north portion of Bronx Park was owned by the NY Botanical Garden and the NY Zoological Society and had no public facilities such as paths, lighting, playgrounds, or athletic fields. As part of the Bronx River Parkway extension project, the Parks Department gained jurisdiction and, with Works Progress Administration labor, began to convert the entire area into a park. This was one big New Deal project with many parts, including: Reiss Field on the east side (1939); Waring Playground on the east side (1939); Rosewood Playground on the east side (1940); 227th Street Playground on the east side (1941); French Charley's Playground...
  • Bronx Park, Ranaqua - Bronx NY
    New York City's Parks Department writes: "Ranaqua, the Bronx headquarters of the Department of Parks & Recreation of the City of New York, is located in the southeastern part of Bronx Park, east of the northbound lanes of the Bronx River Parkway. The name is the Reckgawank Algonquin (Delaware) word for "End Place," the peninsula originally sold to Jonas Bronck in 1639. The three-story brick building, with its adjacent garages, yards and shops, was built by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) and opened by Robert Moses in 1937."
  • Bronx Park, Reiss Field - Bronx NY
    Researcher Frank da Cruz has done some serious groundwork to uncover the history of Reiss Field on the east side of Bronx Park, opposite Reiss Place, just north of Pelham Parkway. This ball field stands precisely where the Parks Department press release of October 31, 1939, announces a playground "designed by the Department of Parks and built for the Park Department by the Work Projects Administration": a "1.36 acre playground in Bronx Park adjacent to Bronx Park East opposite Reiss Place, contains one shuffleboard, four horseshoe pitching, five paddle tennis, two volleyball and two basketball courts, completely encircled by a...
  • Bronx Park, Trojan Courts - Bronx NY
    Researcher Frank da Cruz has gathered research from a variety of sources here to conclude that the New Deal had some role in the development of the Trojan Courts area of the east side of Bronx Park: This area includes the Trojan baseball fields (named after the Bronx Trojans, a 1930s amateur baseball team), the Trojan Courts (game courts), Brady Playground, and Ben Abrams (formerly Lydig) Playground. Records of specific projects in this area are scant; we have only the May 4, 1936, press release from which it is clear that a baseball field was built on the site in 1936, and...
  • Bronx Park, Waring Playground - Bronx NY
    "Waring Playground in Bronx Park, across Bronx Park East from the block between Waring Avenue and Thwaite Place, June 17, 2015. It opened on September 28, 1939, as part of the larger project of developing the land turned over by the New York Botanical Garden to the Parks Department. Although the Parks Department's September 27, 1939 press release does not explicitly credit the WPA or any other New Deal agency with building or funding this facility, it states that it "is a unit in a chain of children's recreation areas already built or now under construction along the easterly boundaries...
  • Bronx River Dredging - Bronx NY
    The WPA dredged the Bronx River between East 177th St. and East 180th St. during the 1930s. A 1935 allotment provided $7,426 for the project. WPA Official Project No. 65-97-446(?).
  • Bronx River Soldier Restoration - Bronx NY
    During the last decade of the 1800s, John Grignola carved this granite statue of a Civil War Union soldier for Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. After years of neglect, WPA workers located the statue in the Bronx River, refurbished it, and moved it to another Bronx River location. According to New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation, the statue never made it into the Woodlawn Cemetery, either because it was damaged or because it was rejected by the cemetery. John B. Lazzari, owner of "a local tombstone quarry and monuments yard,"  purchased the statue and displayed "..it on his property on the west...
  • Bronx Terminal Market Expansion - Bronx NY
    From 1934 to 1935 the Bronx Terminal Market expansion project took place with New Deal support. The Market was one of eight indoor markets that New York Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia built or expanded with federal support. It was part of the Mayor's campaign to clear unregulated pushcart vendors out of the streets and into sheltered, regulated markets. The Market Expansion project improved and provided new facilities for receiving and distributing produce throughout upper Manhattan and the Bronx. The Greenwich Village Historic Preservation Society tells us that the new markets created by LaGuardia "...used federal WPA funds to create...indoor markets that were required...
  • Bronx Terminal Market Freight Shed (demolished) - Bronx NY
    From 1938 to 1939 federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) laborers constructed a freight shed at the north end of the Bronx Terminal Market. Much of the funding for the project came from a $250,000 allocation from the New Deal Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). A city appropriation of $130,000 paid for the rest. Researcher Frank da Cruz has collected evidence about the freight shed's construction which make clear that, at the time, the project received widespread praise in the local press for reducing the price of food in the surrounding area, by allowing for more direct distribution of wholesale produce. Mayor LaGuardia initiated the formation...
  • Bronx-Whitestone Bridge - Bronx to Queens NY
    The Triborough Bridge is one of three major bridges, along with the Henry Hudson and the Bronx-Whitestone, built during the New Deal era to link the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, and tie together the expanding highway system in and out of New York City.  Robert Moses was the master planner of New York from the 1920s to the 1920s, and one of Moses' seats of power was the Triborough Bridge Authority, which built this and other bridges. Moses used New Deal funds liberally to build the projects he had in mind for the city. But he did not...
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