Photo Essay

Historical photos of some major PWA-assisted projects in New York City

Dec. 21, 2011 — In 1939, the federal government published a more than 700 page volume entitled “Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 With the Assistance of the Public Works Administration.” The photos selected here come from that volume and were all constructed in New York City.

Where available, data on costs come from the listings contained in the county-by-county breakdowns of projects contained in the legislation-specific listings identified in our note on data visualization sources (otherwise, it comes from the “Public Buildings” volume). Where possible, Inflation adjustment is calculated based on the year of the legislaton from which a project’s funding was obtained. If the project was not able to be correlated with a specific piece of legislation, inflation adjustment is calculated based on year of completion (as set forth in “Public Buildings”). Note, too, that there are a few circumstances in which data on total project funding (as opposed to that portion attributable to PWA support) is all the information available.  Characteristically, PWA assistance to a project represented at least a substantial portion of overall cost.

This photo essay is part of the story, “When the federal government dared to act”.

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