Pleasant Valley School on Colorado's eastern Plains.

National and State Register

New Deal Resources on Colorado's Eastern Plains

This multiple property listing is organized around the built resources resulting from numerous federal programs of the “New Deal” era on Colorado’s eastern plains. 

While the entire nation suffered from the economic crisis of the 1930s Great Depression, the eastern plains region of Colorado faced additional crises, including agricultural depression, drought, dust storms, and grasshopper plagues.  President Franklin Roosevelt initially developed his New Deal programs to provide relief to the destitute in all parts of the nation, but they soon grew to include special reform and recovery programs and policies for agriculture and areas such as the Dust Bowl.

This multiple property submission supplies a context for understanding the conditions that eastern Colorado endured during the “dirty thirties,” and provides a basis for evaluating the physical resources constructed as a result of the federal New Deal programs.  It includes information on extant resources from 1933 through 1943, based partly on a field survey in four eastern Colorado counties.

The historic contexts developed for this document cover those New Deal programs initiated to provide relief through work projects, to either improve or construct public works.  Although public works programs constituted only part of the numerous New Deal policies and programs initiated in the years following the Great Depression, they are significant for the resulting built resources in the eastern plains counties of Colorado.  The New Deal-era programs are presented in four major historic contexts:

  1.   Roosevelt’s Alphabet Army: 1933-1943
  2.   The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Soil Conservation Service in Eastern Colorado: 1935-1942
  3.   The Public Works Administration - Building a framework for Eastern Colorado: 1933-1942
  4.   The Works Progress Administration - Work for Everyone: 1935-1942

Numerous other New Deal programs also affected life in eastern Colorado during the Depression years; they are briefly mentioned in the introductory background section.  (Cover documentation accepted for the State Register on 12/16/2005; accepted by the National Register on 1/27/2007.)