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NPS Expansion: 1930s







New Deal



NPS 1933-39




Expansion of the National Park Service in the 1930s:
Administrative History

Chapter Three: Impact of the New Deal on the National Park Service
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C. Civil Works Administration

An examination of the activities of the CWA under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, which were carried out between November 28, 1933, and April 28, 1934, serves as a good example of how a New Deal emergency public works program supplemented the ongoing implementation of the National Park Service program. [27]

To assist in the administration of this program the Park Service director was requested to organize and supervise the work of as many workers as could be used profitably in connection with work in the national parks and monuments. John D. Coffman, Chief Forester of the National Park Service, was assigned the responsibility of organizing and supervising the bureau s program which was divided into three main projects: National Capital Projects, under the supervision of C. Marshall Finnan, superintendent; Historic American Buildings Survey under the supervision of Thomas C. Vint, chief architect; and National Parks and Monuments under the supervision of John C. Preston, assistant superintendent, Rocky Mountain National Park, with assistance from Fred T. Johnston. On November 28 the Park Service civil works program was approved, and a total of 14,031 workers was authorized.

The CWA program under the jurisdiction of the Park Service employed a total of 12,942 men and 192 women prior to its abolition and performed a number of park development projects. [28] Under the National Capital Parks project 1,429 workers were employed in building swimming pools, landscaping park areas, improving roads and paths, and planting shrubs and trees. More than 750 architects were employed to collect data and make architectural drawings of some 860 historic buildings for the Historic American Buildings Survey. Nearly 11,000 workers were employed making physical improvements to seventy-two national parks and monuments in twenty-seven states. Fifty artists and skilled workers, including painters, sculptors, draftsmen, and engineers, prepared numerous museum displays for various parks in the museum laboratory at the Western Field Headquarters. Some 600 workers, including Indians, homesteaders, and archeologists, built roads and other badly-needed improvements, and conducted archeological studies in fifteen national monuments in Arizona and New Mexico. Other types of work in the parks included: fire hazard reduction; preparation of fire-destroyed timber into fuel wood; erosion control, including check dams; reforestation and sodding; roadside beautification; foot and motor vehicle bridges; bookkeeping and clerical work; remodeling old buildings; preservation of historic and prehistoric areas and structures; zoological research; and construction of roads, trails, telephone lines, buildings, water and sewer systems, lighting facilities, campground facilities, and parking areas. [29]

Chapter Three continues with...
Public Works Administration


Last Modified: Tues, Mar 14 2000 07:08:48 am PDT

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