- Cathy O'Connor
WPA projects stand the test of time
The Works Progress Administration, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, is widely recognized for its contributions to construction and infrastructure projects.
It was formed to relieve the more than 13 million unemployed workers affected by the Great Depression. The program invested a combination of federal and local government dollars on lasting community projects, using local workers.
According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, the WPA spent $59 million in Oklahoma and WPA projects employed approximately 119,000 Oklahomans between 1935 and 1937. An equivalent investment today would be over $1 billion.
Several Oklahoma City WPA projects still stand, such as the Oklahoma City Municipal Building, Oklahoma County Courthouse, Oklahoma City Zoo amphitheater and projects at the Alice Harn and Wiley Post parks.
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