National Register of Historic Places in Kern County
The Fort, a massive adobe brick structure, stands majestically on North Lincoln Street, just northwest of the center of the City of Taft, California. The Fort covers nearly three acres of land and measures 360 by 200 feet. It approximates the form and plan of John Sutter's original fort in Sacramento, and is slightly larger than the reconstructed fort in Sacramento.
The Fort was constructed jointly by the Work Projects Administration and the County of Kern, and was dedicated by the Grand Officers Native Sons of the Golden West.
During the Depression years of the late '30's it represented one of the largest WPA projects executed in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The Fort has created its own historical significance to all residents of the area and is a tribute to the creative ability of WPA design and construction during the Depression years of the late 1930's.
The Fort created many new job opportunities for many crafts during a period of difficult economic times in the late 30's. The construction of The Fort during the Depression years played an important role in stabilizing the economic recovery of the Taft area and gave employment opportunities to many workers who would otherwise have been on relief programs.
The Fort is an exceptional property and a living monument to the dedication of the WPA program in providing badly needed facilities and job opportunities during the latter part of the Depression years.
National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933
President Franklin Roosevelt came into office during the worst depression the nation had ever known. Fulfilling a campaign promise to put people to work, he instituted the New Deal to bring economic recovery to the depression-wrought country.
The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of 1933 authorized the Public Works Administration (PWA) to provide jobs, stimulate business activity, and increase purchasing power through the construction of permanent and socially useful public works. The Federal Government and local city, county and state governments formed a working partnership resulting in the greatest single construction program in history.
PWA construction projects, in addition to providing employment for the skilled, generated a volume of jobs for the unskilled. The PWA provided loans and grants up to forty percent of the total cost of the project to states, and many other public bodies, including schools.
From 1933-1935, the PWA underwrote projects in 3,040 of the 3,073 counties in all forty-eight states. Of the 3.76 billion dollars of
the NIRA fund, 2.56 billion dollars was spent on 19,004 construction projects.
Narrative adapted in part from the NRHP nomination for Tulare Union High School Auditorium and Administration Building
dated 16 November 1999.
Narrative adapted in part from the NRHP nomination for Tulare Union High School Auditorium and Administration Building dated 16 November 1999.
Many buildings funded by the PWA have been recognized for their historic significance and architectural excellence. Among them are:
Federal Writers and Artists Projects in San Francisco
Gasquet Ranger Station
Mariposa County High School Auditorium
McClatchy Senior High School in Sacramento
Mountain View Adobe
Police Headquarters, Jail & Courts in San Diego
Butte Falls Ranger Station in Butte Falls
Dead Indian Soda Springs Shelter in Rogue River National Forest
Fish Lake Shelter in Rogue River National Forest
Gold Beach Ranger Station
Lake of the Woods Ranger Station in Fremont-Winema National Forest
Lithia Park in Ashland
Historic Adobe Buildings