Timberline Lodge soon after it was built in 1937 on Mt. Hood, Oregon.
Among the thousands of Recovery funded renovation or rehabilitation projects, a handful involve the careful repair of historic structures dating back to the era of the New Deal and its two key initiatives - the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Both programs employed many skilled artisans and craftspeople as well as unskilled labor. Often the projects bore distinct touches and characteristics.
Timberline Lodge – Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon
Acting on advice from local authorities and residents in 1936, an Oregon representative of the CCC enlisted the backing of the USDA Forest Service to build a ski lodge on Mt. Hood. The CCC-led project hired hundreds of area carpenters and masons, who primarily used wood and stone found on the mountain to build the lodge in 15 months. Some interior walls included tile mosaics and wood-carved scenes of area wildlife. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the lodge upon its opening in 1937.
Now a National Historic Monument, Timberline Lodge needed its original windows replaced and new insulation. While new energy efficient panes were installed, the trim had to match the original surrounding rustic, hand-hewn beams, requiring the expertise of veteran carpenters, glaziers, and wood carvers. Also, the two main exterior doors were replaced with new doors crafted by a woodworker. The work was paid for with approximately $190,000 in Recovery funds from the Forest Service.
Cobble Shelter – Tongass National Forest, Alaska
The CCC also built this shelter, in 1937, as part of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Tongass National Forest in Juneau. The shelter was essentially a stop along the forest’s Trail of Time where visitors could sign a log book or registry and get a good view for taking pictures of the glacier. Over time, however, the glacier retreated and the shelter fell into disrepair. The Forest Service awarded a total $2 million for improvements and repairs to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and its facilities, including the Cobble Shelter, which needed overgrown vegetation cleared from around it and replacement of some rotted wood. Work was completed in June 2010.
Public Schools – Boise and Homedale, Idaho
Among the numerous public buildings and facilities the WPA constructed throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s were public schools, three of which were built in Idaho – one in Boise, two in Homedale. All three – Homedale High and Middle Schools, and Boise’s North Junior High – were among state schools benefitting from a $17 million Recovery Act grant from the Department of Energy to repair and/or upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
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