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:
Roosevelt’s Alphabet Army: 1933-1943
The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Soil Conservation Service in Eastern Colorado: 1935-1942
The Public Works Administration - Building a framework for Eastern Colorado: 1933-1942
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.)
Constructed in 1914 and expanded in 1939 through New Deal programs, the Bent County High School is locally significant for its associations with education, entertainment/recreation, politics/government and architecture.
Constructed between 1938 and 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Burlington Gymnasium represents an important record of the federal relief programs administered on Colorado’s eastern plains during the Great Depression. Its construction provided much needed employment in Kit Carson County and it is the only extant work relief construction project remaining from the New Deal era in Burlington. The building exemplifies the efforts of the WPA to boost moral during the Depression through the construction of buildings that could be enjoyed by the entire community.
The American Legion Hall represents the success of local residents and federal relief programs administered on Colorado’s eastern plains during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Providing much-needed employment in Kiowa County, local workers constructed the building between 1937 and 1938 under the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
Three stone buildings, a gymnasium flanked by an elementary and a high school, represent the work of several New Deal relief programs administered in eastern Colorado. Constructed over an eight-year period, the buildings provided employment in Kim during much of the Great Depression. Construction on the gymnasium began in December 1933 as a Civil Works Administration project. It was completed in the spring of 1935 after being transferred to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and finished by a Works Progress Administration project. The school district submitted a successful WPA
Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938, the Pleasant Valley School presents an important visual record of the federal relief programs administered in Colorado’s eastern plains during the Great Depression. Though the dire economic conditions of the Depression affected all of Colorado, drought and dust storms hit the agricultural-based economy of the Eastern Plains especially hard. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative agenda to rescue the United States from the Great Depression included the creation of an unprecedented number of policies, programs, and
Built in 1921 and expanded in 1936 under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the school exemplifies one-room schools constructed in eastern Las Animas County during the homesteading boom of the 1910s and 1920s. The school addition and its adjacent WPA-constructed barn, intended to store coal and shelter student’s horses, reflect Depression era New Deal efforts to improve rural education facilities in eastern Las Animas County. The WPA constructed new schools and barns for several rural school districts and repaired the facilities of many others. Constructed for a small school distri
The 7-D School, constructed in 1936 to 1937 under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is significant for its association with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative agenda to rescue the United States from the Great Depression.
On September 2, 1935, the Town of Hugo submitted a Works Progress Administration project proposal for the construction of a “concrete swimming pool together with bathhouse, landscaping and grading and other necessary work to complete a City Park.” Actual construction began a year later. Work halted twice, once so the WPA crew could finish the Hugo gymnasium / auditorium project and again in July 1937 for the crew to mix and spread poison bait in the regional battle against grasshoppers. The still unfinished facility opened to the public on Saturday, June 18, 1938.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the county commissioners took advantage of a federal construction grant from the Public Works Administration (PWA) to match county funds toward the erection of a new courthouse to replace a 1907 building.
The Adobe Stables, constructed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), are an important record of the federal relief programs administered on Colorado’s eastern plains during the Great Depression. The stables were one of a series of WPA improvement projects at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds that provided a significant source of employment. It is the best surviving example of WPA work in Rocky Ford.
Constructed between 1933 and 1941, the park demonstrates the importance of federal relief programs in Colorado during the Great Depression. The Civil Works Administration project focused on drainage in the park, while the later Works Progress Administration projects involved extensive landscaping that included building the lake; planting trees and building drives; and constructing rustic stone walls, benches and buildings. La Junta City Park is the primary park for the community. Although the land was donated to the city in 1905, few improvements were made.
A project of the Public Works Administration (PWA), the Rocky Ford Post Office is associated with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative agenda. The federal government used the construction of new post offices to aid the economy through expenditures for materials and construction crews. The only PWA project in Rocky Ford, it provided the town with its first purpose-built post office.
Constructed by the Public Works Administration (PWA), the Phillips County Courthouse represents President Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative agenda to bring America out of the Great Depression. The courthouse is the only surviving PWA project in Phillips County and the most intact of all the county’s New Deal projects.
Constructed in 1936 of locally quarried stone by an eight-man Works Progress Administration crew, this filled arch was faced with rusticated stone and features six, 14-foot span, semicircular arches springing from battered piers.
The 1938 Holly City Hall held the town’s police and fire departments, library, and a multi-use community room. The Holly City Hall served effectively for over sixty years as an important center of town life. The Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) used local labor and materials to construct the hall as a town sponsored project.
Built under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration, the building is associated with the federal relief programs administered in Eastern Colorado during the Great Depression. Providing employment and increased job skills for the area’s unemployed, construction began on the Holly Gym in 1936 utilizing a locally quarried chalk-like stone - Niobrara. The WPA created an opportunity to provide the town with a more “progressive” educational facility.
The 1938 building served as an annex to the adjacent high school and provided space for classes in agriculture, a blacksmith shop for manual training, and a sound-proof music room for the band and orchestra. While successfully serving these purposes, the building went on to provide other educational opportunities.
The park is associated with several Great Depression era federal relief programs. Constructed between 1933 and 1938 under the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA), creation of the park provided a source of employment in Lamar during much of the Depression. Willow Creek Park was Colorado’s first CWA project and the first planned park in Lamar, providing a location for active and passive recreation activities.
Constructed by the Works Progress Administration between 1938 and 1939, the courthouse represents federal New Deal relief programs at work in eastern Colorado during the Great Depression. The county commissioners took advantage of the WPA program to match county funds toward the construction of a new courthouse to replace a 1904 facility. The building is an excellent example of the WPA Art Deco style applied to a government building whose construction was constrained by the economic conditions of the Depression.
The 1916 Student Union stands as an important record of New Deal construction programs in eastern Colorado, reflecting the extensive assistance the Colorado State College of Education (now UNC) received from the PWA to remake its campus during the 1930s. The building was the center of social life for the students of the College hosting events such as teas, mixers, dances, and banquets.
Designated under the Multiple Property Documentation Form for New Deal Resources of Colorado’s Eastern Plains at the state level of significance, the LUP Headquarters, mandated by the Resettlement Administration in 1935, is significant in the area of Politics/Government for its association with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative agenda to rescue the United States from the Great Depression.