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GDT: The New Deal in NYC

Oval Park Recreation Center

One thing I like to do in US cities I visit is look for buildings and facilities that had been built as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the New Deal, and New York City has plenty of them. Hundreds of projects were things like sewer and road improvements so they are not exactly sites you want to visit, but there are also a lot of buildings, parks, and other recreation facilities built through this New Deal program and still in use today.

About a dozen large swimming pools were built, a life saver for those living in hot tenement apartments.

Post offices, playgrounds, and both the Central Park and Prospect Park Zoos were WPA projects, built to improve the city’s infrastructure while creating jobs for workers. The WPA also employed artists to paint murals in public buildings; unfortunately many are no longer in existence. This mural was painted by artist Stuart Davis for the community room in a Brooklyn public housing project:

Perhaps Rays players can tour New Deal Era public art in NYC after beating the Yankees this afternoon.