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  • Ben Franklin Bridge Rail Line - Philadelphia PA to Camden NJ
    In conjunction with what was known as the Ridge Avenue Connector, "the high speed electric rail transit line which connects the Ridge Avenue—Eighth Street—Locust Street Subway in Philadelphia with a terminal near the Broadway Station of the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines in Camden, is the largest of the completed Public Works Administration projects in Pennsylvania," as of 1937. Work involved development of a rail line across what is now the Ben Franklin Bridge.
  • Carl Mackley Houses - Philadelphia PA
    Philadelphia's first public housing project, the Carl Mackley Houses (also known as Juniata Park Housing), was financed by the Housing Division of the federal Public Works Administration (PWA). The PWA supplied a $1,030,000 loan for the project, whose eventual total cost was $905,379. Construction occurred between February 1934 and June 1935.
  • Central High School - Philadelphia PA
    The present Central High School building in Philadelphia was constructed as a New Deal project. The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided a $1,084,950 grant for the project, which was undertaken in 1937-1938. PWA Docket No. PA 1549. C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown: The first Central High School in Philadelphia was built in 1838 and was the oldest high school in the United States outside of New England. It was replaced in 1844 and in 1900. This project replaces that erected in 1900. The building provides an extensive administration suite including a doctor's office, an infirmary, 28 classrooms, a lunch room for 1,000, a faculty...
  • City Hall Beautification - Philadelphia PA
    "Beautification of City Hall itself was begun in the autumn of 1936, when a large crew of WPA workers started the gigantic task of cleaning the million square feet of stone composing the building's exterior. Twenty tons of pipe and 25,000 feet of lumber were used in the scaffolding, erected to a height of 150 feet. Fifty thousand gallons of specially prepared paste were used in one of the largest cleaning jobs ever attempted."
  • Civic Center Blvd. Widening - Philadelphia PA
    "Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects employed thousands of local workers on municipal projects that would improve the lives of city residents. The construction workers shown here in 1936 were widening Vintage Avenue (later renamed Civic Center Boulevard) in West Philadelphia. Because Vintage Avenue was elevated, the construction seen here was for a retaining wall to support the road addition."
  • Differential Analyzer (Mechanical Computer) - Philadelphia PA
    In 1934-1935, the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania built a differential analyzer, an early type of computer. Designed by Oscar Schuck, it was the second of its kind – the first differential analyzer was constructed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1931. Funds and skilled labor (for example, electricians and instrument makers) came from the Civil Works Administration (CWA) and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). A government report from Pennsylvania described the differential analyzer: “The machine weighs 3-1/2 tons. It is approximately 30 feet long, 10 feet wide and 5 feet high. It contains...
  • Edward W. Bok Technical High School - Philadelphia PA
    Philadelphia's Edward W. Bok Technical High School was constructed with federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds between 1936 and 1938.
  • Ellsworth–Federal (Subway) Station - Philadelphia PA
    This is one of three subway stations along the Broad Street subway line, south of City Hall, whose construction was enabled by federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) funds. As a result of this project the subway was extended from Lombard South Station to Snyder Ave. Service here was inaugurated on Sept. 18, 1938.
  • Fairmount Carrier Annex (Post Office) - Philadelphia PA
    This red brick post office building was built in 1936 as Philadelphia's Fairmount Station post office, and is now the Fairmount carrier annex.
  • Fairmount Park - Philadelphia PA
    "Fairmount Park has several WPA buildings in its repertoire. Not sure what WPA stands for? Think back to the Depression. Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a Federal program during the 1930's which put unemployed men back to work. Thousands of men worked in our park system to build shelters, dams, trails and walls. Much of the infrastructure we find in portions of the park today stems from this massive effort. The WPA built thirteen stone and log trail shelters, guard boxes, and comfort stations throughout Wissahickon Park between 1938 and 1939." The WPA built thirteen structures along Wissahickon Creek. Two are...
  • Falls Road - Philadelphia PA
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) developed Falls Road during the 1930s.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park Golf Course - Philadelphia PA
    The FDR Park Golf Course was constructed as a WPA project in 1936.
  • Harper Meadow - Philadelphia PA
    "AT THE park's entrance is a 20-acre tract known as HARPER MEADOW, which was filled in and landscaped by WPA under sponsorship of the Friends of the Wissahickon, to serve as a picnic ground and a recreation spot. The plot which is named in honor of William Warner Harper, of Andorra, "a lover of nature in all its forms," was formally dedicated in the spring of 1937."
  • Independence Hall Restoration - Philadelphia PA
    "Sites of WPA projects to preserve historic shrines include ... Independence Hall."
  • Jackson Pollock Mural - Philadelphia PA
    "Before he developed his famous drip method of painting -- a technique in which the canvas is placed on the floor and splashed with paint -- Pollock worked for the WPA's Federal Art Project from 1938 to 1942. He created Male and Female, one of his earliest paintings, in 1942. Now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the painting is an excellent example of Pollock's early abstract expressionism, characterized by vibrant color and texture."
  • John Bartram High School - Philadelphia PA
    John Bartram High School was constructed as a New Deal project in 1937-8. The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided a $1,001,700 grant for the project, whose total cost was $2,385,307. PWA Docket No. PA 1562-1 Wikipedia: "On February 5, 1939, John Bartram High School, located at the intersection of 67th Street and Elmwood Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia, opened for the first time to 1,700 students. According to a history of the school published on its 50th anniversary, the school was originally planned to be built at 74th Street and Dicks Avenue, but the site was changed before construction started. It was...
  • Joseph H. Brown Elementary School - Philadelphia PA
    Joseph H. Brown Elementary School was constructed as a New Deal project in 1937. The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided a $269,100 grant for the project, whose total cost was $516,456. PWA Docket No. 1584. "The  project calls for construction of new elementary school building at 66th street and Chester avenue. It will be a three-story "L" shaped structure. The federal government contributed $269,100."
  • Kingsessing Station Post Office (former) - Philadelphia PA
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's old Kingsessing Station post office, located at the western corner of Whitby Ave. and S 52nd St., was constructed during the Great Depression with federal Treasury Department funds. The building has undergone extensive renovations and is now privately owned. A pair of New Deal murals that had been housed at the post offices have been relocated to a non-public setting.
  • Kingsessing Station Post Office (former) Murals - Philadelphia PA
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's old Kingsessing Station post office hosted a pair of New Deal murals: "Philadelphia Waterways with Ben Franklin Bridge" and "View of Downtown Philadelphia Skyline," that were installed in the post office lobby in 1939. The murals were painted by Moses and Raphael Soyer. Upon relocation of postal services in Kingsessing, the murals were removed from the old post office. Presently the murals hang along the back wall of the offices of USPS's Philadelphia Metro District—a facility near the city's primary mail processing plant that is not accessible to the public. The murals have been sliced vertically into multiple segments...
  • Main Post Office (former) - Philadelphia PA
    Originally constructed as Treasury Department project and completed in 1935, Philadelphia's large Art Deco 30th St. post office served the community for many years, before being left vacant in 2006. It has since been converted into a modern office building. "In redeveloping the 862,692-square-foot Art Deco style federal building, Brandywine embraced and rejuvenated its pre-Columbian art and architecture-inspired highlights. The Post Office’s ornate public lobby, known as the "Historic Corridor", featuring two entry rotundas with mosaic domes in a Mayan motif, has been fully restored. The domes, each with 99,816 pieces of glass faience tiles in nine different shades of green...
  • Naval Hospital - Philadelphia PA
    "The Naval Hospital at Philadelphia was authorized by an act of Congress in 1931, but as insufficient funds were appropriated the buildings were completed with the aid of P.W.A. The site is a 22-acre plot north of League Island Park and the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The project includes the main hospital building, a nurses' home, corpsmen's quarters, four officers' quarters, a garage, film-storage building, greenhouse, and the necessary services, roads, and walks. The main hospital building is 13 stories in height. It has a normal capacity of 650 patients in 30-bed wards and single rooms, but...
  • New Guardhouse (Cobb Creek) - Philadelphia PA
    "NEW GUARDHOUSE, opposite Catharine Street, was built by WPA workmen. The new building is Georgian Colonial in design and constructed of gray stone with dark blue slate roof. The stone used in the building was taken from an old mill demolished by WPA labor. Herman Miller, WPA architect, designed the building. On the first floor, the center hall is the roll room off which is an ante-room used by the Fairmount Park guards as a private office for the sergeant. The north wing is used by the park maintenance fore- man as a tool shop and blacksmith forge. The south wing houses the stable for guard horses. The second...
  • North Philadelphia Station Post Office - Philadelphia PA
    The historic red-brick North Philadelphia Station post office was built in 1935. Constructed with federal Treasury Department funds, the building is still in use today. It houses a collection of New Deal artwork in the lobby.
  • North Philadelphia Station Post Office Murals - Philadelphia PA
    The post office contains several Section of Fine Arts tempera murals painted by George Harding in 1939. The murals depict "Mail Delivery," "City," "Country," "Northern Coast," "Office," "Home," "Tropics," and "History of Mail Transportation by Water.
  • Pastorius Park Restroom Building - Philadelphia PA
    A restroom facility in Pastorius Park, northwest Philadelphia, was constructed by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1937. A stone stating such can be found beneath a circular vent on the building.
  • Pennypack Creek Improvements - Philadelphia PA
    "In nearby reaches of the creek trout fishing is popular. During the season scores of fishermen in hip boots wade the stream, casting for the elusive trout in water once teeming with catfish. To improve trout breeding a number of retards of twigs and stone have been installed by the WPA, with runways or deflectors, which quicken the flow of water in sluggish places. These devices not only serve to aerate the water, but provide shelter in times of flood."
  • Philadelphia History Museum Renovations - Philadelphia PA
    "After three years of renovations carried out by the Works Progress Administration, the Atwater Kent Museum was formally dedicated on April 19, 1941."
  • Philadelphia International Airport - Philadelphia PA
    "The WPA's good works in Philadelphia included ... construction of the Municipal (later Philadelphia International) Airport ..."
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Development - Philadelphia PA
    The iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art was improved and developed by Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) labor during the Great Depression. "The WPA had permitted extraordinary construction and growth at the museum, while even allowing it to save money." Philadelphia Museum Bulletin: Everywhere, behind the scenes, the Museum is filled with workmen. Steelworkers, smiths, masons, plasterers, painters and men of the dozens of other building crafts ply their trades behind doors through which, as these open and close, we catch a glimpse of strange and delicate shapes—vast pillars of carved stone from India, tall red columns from China, gilded French panels of...
  • Philadelphia National Cemetery Improvements - Philadelphia PA
    "The Philadelphia National Cemetery was established at its current site in 1885 in order to consolidate Civil War burials located in seven regional private cemeteries. The cemetery's first rostrum or speaker's stand for ceremonial use was built in 1888. The existing rostrum was built in 1938-39 as part of a Works Progress Administration project that funded a number of improvements to the cemetery's grounds and facilities. It takes the form of a semicircular Tuscan-order temple."
  • Philadelphia Zoo Reptile House Sculpture - Philadelphia PA
    The black granite sculpture "Python," which can be found to the right-front of the entrance to the Philadelphia Zoo's Reptile House, was created by Aaron Ben-Shmuel and was completed and dedicated in 1940. "The sculpture is approximately 18 inches x 31 inches x 34 inches with the base being approximately 12 inches in height."
  • Reading Company Yard Filling - Philadelphia PA
    WPA workers filled the Reading Company yard at N 3rd St. and W Berks St. in Philadelphia in late 1935.
  • Richard Allen Homes - Philadelphia PA
    "Richard Allen Homes, named after the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is a housing project in lower North Philadelphia that was funded by the U.S. Housing Authority under the Housing Act of 1937." ("The USHA reported directly to Secretary of Interior Harold L. Ickes, who had supervised the PWA. This meant that the new housing program was administered under the same general policies as the old PWA program.")
  • Robert N. C. Nix Federal Building - Philadelphia PA
    The monumental Moderne-style Robert N. C. Nix Federal Building, sometimes known as the William Penn Annex, was constructed under the auspices of the federal Public Works Administration (PWA) between 1937 and 1941. Its exterior features multiple examples of New Deal artwork. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. However, according to Mary Manfredi, the building is not listed on the Philadelphia Register and "it is not legally protected from alterations or demolition."    
  • Robert N. C. Nix Federal Building: Amateis Bas Reliefs - Philadelphia PA
    The four large granite bas reliefs installed along the side of the William Penn Annex/Robert N. C. Nix Federal Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were carved by Edmond R. Amateis. They are collectively titled "Mail Delivery – North, South, East, West," and were created in 1941 with funding from the Treasury Section of Fine Arts.
  • Robert N. C. Nix Federal Building: De Lue Bas Reliefs - Philadelphia PA
    The two large granite reliefs "Law" and "Justice", as well as two large stone eagles, were carved by Donald De Lue. They were commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts in 1940. They are installed around the exterior of the William Penn Annex/Robert N. C. Nix Federal Building.
  • Snyder (Subway) Station - Philadelphia PA
    This is one of three subway stations along the Broad Street subway line, south of City Hall, whose construction was enabled by federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) funds. As a result of this project the subway was extended from Lombard South Station to Snyder Ave. Service here was inaugurated on Sept. 18, 1938.
  • South Broad Street Subway Extension - Philadelphia PA
    Long planned, federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) funds enabled the development of the South Broad Street subway from its then-southern terminus at Lombard South Station to Snyder Ave., during the mid-to-late 1930s. Service along this stretch of subway was inaugurated at the three new subway stations: Ellsworth–Federal, Tasker–Morris, and Snyder, on Sept. 18, 1938. The Broad Street line was extended further south, decades later, to Pattison Ave.
  • Southwark Station Post Office - Philadelphia PA
    Philadelphia's historic Southwark Station post office was constructed in 1936 with federal Treasury Department funds. The building, which houses an example of New Deal artwork, is still in service.
  • Southwark Station Post Office Murals - Philadelphia PA
    Philadelphia's historic Southwark Station post office contains two Section of Fine Arts murals by Robert E. Larter. The oil on canvas murals were painted in 1938 and entitled "Iron Plantation Near Southwark - 1800" and "Shipyards at Southwark - 1800." : In 1938, the Section of Fine Arts commissioned the 26 year old artist Robert E. Larter to paint two oil-on-canvas murals on opposite ends of the post office’s interior. They are respectively titled “Iron Plantation Near Southwark – 1800″ and “Shipyards at Southwark-1800.” The shipyard mural is inaccessible to the public, since the post office built a wall of mailboxes two feet...
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