1.  Read this website for background about the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was a federal government agency designed to help people during the Great Depression.  What kinds of projects did those employed by the WPA work on?

2.  Next, scroll down this page to get a sense of the wide variety of WPA projects here in the State of Minnesota.  ARCC students in the Summer of 2005 compiled these links.  Follow at least two of the links so you'll see what was accomplished.  You might find a WPA project in your area/neighborhood.


In this WPA project Minnesota artist were paid to paint and draw pictures for
public display in public buildings.

Mahnomen County Fairgrounds

These fairgrounds were built by the WPA in 1936. Some of the original
structures are still remaining that show the kind of excellent work the WPA

Post office mural in Caledonia, Minnesota

In the early 1940s, the WPA did a mural on the post office wall of a farm
scene. It was painted by Edmund D. Lewandowski from Wisconsin. It can still
be seen there today.

This is the site for the WPA Writers Project guide to the state of Minnesota.  It has great info on the history of the state.
This site offers a list of WPA murals in Minnesota Buildings.  It includes the following details: Title of Mural, theme of mural, what building it is in, what medium was used to create mural, and who the artist was.  It does not include pictures.

In 1933 the preservation began for Gooseberry Falls. The Civilian
Conservation Corps (which is an organization similar to the WPA) developed the park and in 1937 it became Gooseberry Falls
state park. People can still enjoy the beauty of the North Shore, trails and
many other recreational activities.

Was established in 1908. In the 1930ís the Civilian Conservation Corps
developed the site. To this day people still enjoy seeing
the glaciers created tens of thousands of years ago.  People enjoy camping,
many canoe routes, and wildlife close up.

Flandrau State Park
Flandrau State Park consists of several buildings built by WPA workers because the park was originally a WPA workers' camp.  The CCC built a dam in the park to create a water reservoir for civilians on the Big Cottonwood River.  The dam was removed in 1995 because it was damaged from multiple floodings.  The park also served as a prisoner-of-war camp for Germans during WWII.
Como Zoo
The WPA built most of the earlier buildings that housed the animals of the zoo.  Workers built Seal Island, the bear grottoes, the main zoo building and the barn during 1932.

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park  
Little Falls, MN
The park features a picnic shelter and a stone water tower both designed and built by the WPA. The structures were built in a style complimentary to the surroundings and stand virtually unchanged from the time they were finished. (no date of completion is listed on any of 3 sites)

Clarence W. Wigington (Harriet Island) Pavilion    St. Paul, MN

The public bath house that once was a local hot spot on Harriet Island, had been closed for 23 years before the WPA built the stone pavilion in 1942. The structure resurrected activity on the island and aided in luring many visitors there once again.

Wade Stadium- Duluth, Minnesota
Wade Stadium is home to the Duluth-Superior Dukes minor league baseball
team. It was constructed in 1941 as a WPA project.

Selke Field, St. Cloud State University
The granite wall surrounding the softball field at SCSU was built in the
1930's as a WPA project.

Camden State Park in Camden (10 miles south of Marshall, MN)
Park was developed by the CCC in 1935.  WPA completed many projects and buildings such as the two drinking fountains made of stone and the custodian's cabin.  all of the buildings can still be seen today.

This page describes various dams in Minnesota that were created by the WPA and includes pictures of one of the dams in Crow Wing County in Minnesota. The page describes modifications that are being made to dams constructed originally by the WPA.
Itasca State Park was developed originally in 1905 and in the 1930s development was continued by two WPA and CCC groups. The park is still a very common tourist place to visit today.

Minnesota Historic Bridges
Split Rock Bridge

The Split Rock Bridge is located in Pipestone County. The condition of the
bridge has been unaltered since it has been built. The bridge was built in

Pelican and Otter Tail Rivers

Minnesota Department of Conservation and WPA work together to clean and
restore Pelican and Otter Tail Rivers. The two of them payed $485,000 to
have 63 lake restore to the way it used to be. WPA also supplied wages for
the work that was being done at that time (1936).


New Deal Art During the Great Depression
This site describes the jobs that the WPA created for artists in the
1930's. There are links to different murals from different states and the
stories behind them.


List of all of the murals completed by the WPA in Minnesota. Mural locations
throughout the state include those on post offices, schools, hospitals,
colleges, town halls, homes, auditoriums, and many others. The typical theme of
the murals covered the history of the subject or town.

List of all the historic sites in MN, there are 23 that are WPA. When you open
the document on each there is a section that states who it was built by and a
lot of description and history.