The WPA is something that I have heard a lot about during my lifetime. But, those of you who are a generation or two removed from family members who lived during the "Great Depression" of the 1930's and the following war years may be unfamiliar with the work of the WPA, so here is the Wikipedia cliff notes.
Created by order of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Works Progress Administration (renamed during 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. It fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing. Almost every community in the United States had a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency, which especially benefited rural and Western populations.
Many beautiful buildings, walls and other structures were built in our area by the WPA. Since most of the sites were constructed from stone, brick and concrete they were made to last a lifetime. The WPA built hundreds perhaps hundreds of thousands of miles of brick roads across this country. I doubt if there is a small town anywhere that did not have, at one time, a Main Street constructed of bricks by WPA workers.
I also suspect that most of those miles of brick are still there, hidden under tons of asphalt paving. For many decades cities began paving over the bricks claiming they were not suitable for modern day automobiles. Blaming the bricks for became slick when wet on the rise in traffic accidents instead of the heavier vehicles and increased speed limits of growing towns.
I was excited to read recently that quite a few old cities are starting to chip away all that asphalt and dig up the bricks and turn them over, placing the unworn side up as part of their revitalizing of their downtown districts. Wanting to bring back the charm and character of yesteryear to the old business areas that have become overlooked by big box stores on the city edge.
That is something I hope our city fathers can be convinced to do as well. As the following photos will show those seventy something year old WPA brick on our Main Street are in better shape than the asphalt covering them.
I am linking this post to Ruby Tuesday and Rednesday.
Mary at "Work of the Poet" hosts Ruby Tuesday. Rednesday is a Wednesday meme hosted by Sue at "It's a Very Cherry World." Both memes are dedicated to the color red. To join the fun or just check out what Red others are excited to share visit Mary and her friends at Ruby Tuesdayand Sue and her friends fromRednesday