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New Deal Agencies Built 233 Buildings in Utah
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UTAH aND THE COLD WAR

World War I and Utah
Utah's Capitols
Herbert S. Auerbach, Renaissance Man
Utah's "Ugly Duckling" Salt Flats
Publicizing Bryce Canyon
The Last Indian Uprising
Home Industry 20th Century Style
Some 80 Utah Nurses Served in World War I
World War I Heroine Maud Fitch Lived in Eureka, Utah
Mexican Families and the Sugar Industry in Garland
The Development of Zion National Park
The Twenties
Artist John Held, Jr. Created Cultural Icons, 1920's
Media Development in Weber County
Silent Films Intrigued & Occasionally Offended
Coal Production Amid the Wars
Sheep Fueled 1920's Economy
Military Installations
Boxcars and Section Houses
Jack Dempsey Loved Fighting, Mining, and Cowboying
Radio in Utah Began in May 1922 on Station KZN
The Cigarette Ban of the 19020's Caused an Uproar
Prohibition Failed to Stop the Liquor Flow in Utah
Lawyer Ran For President on the Farmer-Labor Ticket
George Sutherland Served on the U.S. Supreme Court
Alice Stratton Feared and Made Fun of "Kaiser Bill"
Klansmen at a Funeral and a Terrible Lynching
President Harding's 1923 Visit to Utah
Growing Crops For the Cannery
Dinosaur National Monument
The Fathers of Capitol Reef National Park
Ogden's the Bigelow-Preserves a Historic Area
Philo T. Farnsworth's Invention
The Beginnings of Commerical Aviation
The White Book Road Guide
The Great Depression
Depression Memories
"Even Grasshoppers Were Starving" During Drought
New Deal Agencies Built 233 Buildings in Utah
"Alphabet" Agencies in Utah County
The Civilian Conservation Corps Was a Boon to Utah
The Civilian Conservation Corps
Marriner S. Eccles Helped Design FDR's New Deal
Reed Smoot and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930
Reed Smoot & America's Natural Resources, 1903-33
Children in the 1930's Hoped to Become Nurses & Pilots
Arches National Monument
A Labor Inspector During the Great Depression
Clean Clothes Blowing in the Breeze
Utah's Rosies in the War
Garfield County Airport Has Unusual Hangar
Marie Ogden Led Spiritual Group in San Juan County
Uinta Basin Group Trekked to the 1933 World's Fair
Helen Hofmann Bertagnole-"Utah's Queen of Swing"
World War II in Utah
How Trains Helped Win a War
The War Effort at Home
Topaz Relocation Center
Topaz: Japanese American Interned in UT During WWII
Japanese Agricultural Colony at Keetley
Utahn Survives the Attack at Pearl Harbor
The USS Salt Lake City Made History
Utah Naval Officer Died a Hero's Death at Pearl Harbor
Rhymes Filled Children's Autograph Books
Utah's Rosies Upshot
Women Workers and Housing Issues
World War II Claimed the Lives of Four Utah Brothers

Becky Bartholomew
History Blazer June 1996

The Great Depression hit Utah even harder than most other states. From 1932 to 1940 Utah's unemployment rate averaged twenty-five percent. In 1933 it reached thirty-three percent. Only three other states suffered more severely. Because of this, federal relief efforts were especially intensive in Utah. Soon the state ranked ninth among the then forty-eight states in per capita federal spending. The percentage of Utahns employed in federal works programs was also far above the national average. Most of these works programs involved building construction.

Five different New Deal agencies administered the building programs during the depression: the Civil Works (CWA), Federal Emergency Relief (FERA), National Youth (NYA), Works Progress (WPA), and Public Works administrations (PWA). During the 1930s and early 1940s these five agencies funded 233 Utah public buildings.

One such building was the Minersville City Hall funded in Beaver County by FERA. It was built in 1935 to house the town's post office, library, municipal offices, and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers camp. To save costs, stone for the hall was brought from a demolished building of the old Murdock Academy, which had been standing empty since 1922. Civilian Conservation Corps crews dismantled and hauled the stone to Minersville.

To the north, in Brigham City, the PWA sponsored another public building, the Box Elder High School Gymnasium. This was a more ambitious project, one of twenty Utah school gymnasiums built during the 1930s. Of red brick, the building cost $106,000. Its construction provided work not just for Brigham City laborers but for the Joseph Nelson architectural firm, an Idaho general contractor, a city building inspector, a Utah plumbing/heating/ventilating contractor, and a roofing/sheet metal specialist.

The design, acceptable for the time, provided for two gyms: a 7,000-square-foot boys' gym with seating for 1,000 and a girls' gym one-fourth that size. There was also a tiled swimming pool, locker rooms, classrooms, and a handball court.

Neither the Minersville City Hall nor the Box Elder Gymnasium--nor, for that matter, the other 231 courthouses, city halls, fire stations, armories, and school buildings that went up in Utah during the depression--would have been possible without New Deal assistance.

Source: Nomination Forms, National Register of Historic Places, for Minersville City Hall and Box Elder High School Gymnasium in Preservation Office files, Utah Division of State History.

 

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