WPA Today   

CWA PWA MERA



A National Recovery Act emblem. The Public Works Administration (PWA) was created by the National Recovery Act of 1933. (Image is in the public domain, provided courtesy of Wikipedia)  

The Civil Works Administration, the Public Works Administration, and the Maryland Emergency Relief Administration
(See Photos Below!)

     The Civil Works Administration was a sort of precursor to the WPA and lasted from 1933-1934.  The Public Works Administration (PWA,1933-1943) was focused more on large infrastructure projects than with employing the jobless.  Though, to be clear, the PWA was certainly not totally removed from the national concern of joblessness, and often touted its large infrastructure projects as part of the unemployment solution.  I don't know much about the Maryland Emergency Relief Administration right now, but hopefully I'll have a chance to research it in the near future.  I believe it lasted from 1933 to 1935, and was something along the lines of a WPA...but again I'm not 100% sure.
 
*******************************************************

Photo credits: Unless otherwise noted, all black and white photos were taken by the WPA, are in the public domain, and provided courtesy of the University of Maryland College Park Archives.  All color photos--unless otherwise noted--were taken by Brent McKee.  Click here for more information on photo credits, permission to use, and exhibit descriptions.



Above: Ritchie Highway was built with the assistance of PWA funds, and beautified with thousands of trees and plants, planted by the WPA (Source: Maryland Historical Trust report and Baltimore Sun).


Above: The Hagerstown City Hall was built with the assistance of PWA funds, circa 1939.  (Source: Maryland Historical Trust report)


Above: A view of the cupola on top of the Hagerstown City Hall.


Above: A view of the Hagerstown City Hall from N. Potomac St.


Above: The cornerstone on the Hagerstown City Hall.


Above: The Greenfield Library on the campus of St. John's College (Annapolis) once served as the Maryland Archives.  You can still see the words "Hall of Records" above the second story windows.  The Maryland Hall of Records was built with the assistance of PWA funds in 1934.  (Source: Maryland Historical Trust report)


Above: According to a report prepared for the Maryland Historical Trust, Westbrook Elementary School--in Bethesda Maryland--was built with the help of PWA funds.  (And, according to the school's website, it was also built with the assistance of WPA labor)


Above: This addition to the Wicomico County Courthouse, in Salisbury, was made possible (in part) by PWA funds.  (Source: Maryland Historical Trust report)


Above: This building--which served as Beall High School (Frostburg) from 1939 to 2007--was made possible with PWA funds.  My understanding is that it no longer exists. 


Above: These CWA workers are grading the grounds at Washington High School in Princess Anne, Somerset County, circa 1933-34.  Note the large building in the background.  That is Washington High School, and it would be torn down by the WPA--for better or worse--in 1938, to make room for a new high school (see here).


Above: CWA workers painted the inside of this Salisbury Fire Department building, circa 1933-34.


Above: These CWA workers are working on the Wicomico County Free Library (either building a new building, or making additions/improvements to an existing building), circa 1933-34.


Above: CWA workers building a tuberculosis sanitarium in Salisbury, circa 1933-34.  Tuberculosis was a significant problem in the first half of the twentieth century.


Above: This is the only picture I have of a Maryland Emergency Relief Administration (MERA) project and, as you can see, it was also a project that the PWA helped fund.  The description for this photo reads, "Oxon Hill School, Prince George's County, Maryland...February 28, 1935."
Website Builder