The stock market crash of October 29, 1929 marked the beginning of America's Great Depression. Not much improved
in park thereafter until FERA ( Federal Emergency Relief Administration established in 1932) did a small amount of work.
But when the WPA (established in 1935) came to the park it became a different place – workers restored, renovated,
improved, and added new buildings, bridges, and roads..
Most of the existing brick buildings and art
deco sculpture, reliefs, and flourishes on buildings, bridges, and fountains was done by WPA artists and workers who also
added new gates, lagoons, benches, shelters, an administration building, 8 roads, 8 bridges, baseball fields, golf clubhouse
additions and new courses, a driving range, a caddy house, stadiums for football and baseball, athletic fields, and tennis
courts with lights for night-play
Renovations, repairs, and improvements were made to Roosevelt Mall,
the Rose Garden, the Casino, the Irby Pool, the Peristyle, and sculptures throughout the park. Popp Fountain was completed,
3 bridges rebuilt, City Park Avenue widened, Navarre Road paved, Lelong Avenue repaved, and Anseman Avenue landscaped. The
swampy northern extension was drained and the Couturie Forest established. The lagoons were converted into a stream system
with new drainage.
Signs like the one seen in this 1937 photograph could be found throughout the
park during the 1930s when the WPA restored the old and built the new. Unseen improvements included land grading, new water
lines, improvement to the existing electrical system, and the placement of electrical wiring through the new extension. (NOPL)