National Register of Historic Places in Kern County

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National Register #81000151
The Fort
Ash and Lincoln Streets
Built 1938-1940

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.

Many buildings funded by the PWA have been recognized for their historic significance and architectural excellence. Among them are:


Adobe Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in San Diego
Aquatic Park in San Francisco
Beach Chalet Murals in San Francisco
Feather River Scenic Byway Tunnels
Federal Building in Merced

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

Rincon Annex Post Office in San Francisco
Sacramento Junior College
San Francisco State Teachers College
Sonora Youth Center
Stanislaus Forest Experiment Station

The Fort in Taft
Theodore Judah School in Sacramento
Tulare Union High School


Carson City Civic Auditorium
Hoover Dam
Southside School in Reno
Tonopah Main Post Office
USO Building in Hawthorne
Yerington Main Post Office


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

McKee Bridge Campground in Rogue River National Forest
Wrangle Gap Shelter in Rogue River National Forest

Bryce Canyon Airport
Dalton Wells Civilian Conservation Corps
Minersville City Hall
Rock House in Arches National Park

Historic Adobe Buildings

Alvarado Adobe in San Pablo
Anza House in San Juan Bautista
Boronda Adobe in Salinas
Caledonia Adobe in San Miguel
Casa Covarrubias in Santa Barbara

Casa de la Guerra in Santa Barbara
Casa del Oro in Monterey
Castro Adobe near Watsonville
Castro Adobe Site in El Cerrito
Castro House in San Juan Bautista

Chew Kee Store in Fiddletown
Dallidet Adobe in San Luis Obispo
Dana Adobe in Nipomo
Don Fernando Pacheco Adobe in Concord
Don Salvio Pacheco Adobe in Concord

El Adobe de los Robles Near Lemoore
Estrella Adobe Church in Paso Robles
Groveland Hotel in Groveland
Gutiérrez Adobe in Monterey
Hastings Adobe near Collinsville

Hill-Carrillo Adobe in Santa Barbara
House of Four Winds in Monterey
Ide Adobe in Red Bluff
Janssens-Orella Adobe House Site in Santa Barbara
Juarez Adobe in Napa

Kottinger Adobe Barn in Pleasanton
Larkin House in Monterey
Latter Day Saints Chuch in Moab, Utah
Locke Adobe Barn in Lockeford
Martinez Adobe in Martinez

Merritt Adobe in Monterey
Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma
Mountain View Adobe in Mountain View
Moraga Adobe in Orinda
Nash Adobe in Sonoma

Old Adobe Barn in La Grange
Oreña Adobe in Santa Barbara
Peña Adobe near Vacaville
Petaluma Adobe near Petaluma
Plaza Hall in San Juan Bautista

Plaza Hotel in San Juan Bautista
Rancho Los Alamos in Santa Barbara
Reading Adobe Site near Cottonwood
Roberto-Suñol Adobe in San Jose
Robert Louis Stevenson House in Monterey

Shafer House in Moab, Utah
Sonoma Barracks in Sonoma
Stone and Kelsey Adobe Site in Kelseyville
Sugg House in Sonora
Sun Sub Wo Co. in Coulterville

Sutter's Fort Adobe in Sacramento
Swift Adobe Site near Orland
Swiss Hotel in Sonoma
The Fort in Taft
Trussell-Winchester Adobe in Santa Barbara

Vallejo Adobe in Sonoma
Vásquez House in Monterey

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