Building Louisiana: The Legacy of the Public Works Administration

Building Louisiana: The Legacy of the Public Works Administration

by Robert D. Leighninger Jr.
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1578069459

ISBN-13: 9781578069453

Pub. Date: 05/01/2007

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Robert D. Leighninger, Jr., believes there may be a model for municipal building projects everywhere in the ambitious and artful structures erected in Louisiana by the Public Works Administration. In the 1930s, the PWA built a tremendous amount of infrastructure in a very short time. Most of the edifices are still in use, yet few people recognize how these schools,

Overview

Robert D. Leighninger, Jr., believes there may be a model for municipal building projects everywhere in the ambitious and artful structures erected in Louisiana by the Public Works Administration. In the 1930s, the PWA built a tremendous amount of infrastructure in a very short time. Most of the edifices are still in use, yet few people recognize how these schools, courthouses, and other great structures came about.

Building Louisiana documents the projects one New Deal agency erected in one southern state and places these in social and political context. Based on extensive research in the National Archives and substantial field work within the state, Leighninger has gathered the story of the establishment of the PWA and the feverish building activity that ensued. He also recounts early tussles with Huey Long and the scandals involving public works discovered during the late New Deal.

The book includes looks at individual projects of particular interest--"Big Charity" hospital, the Carville leprosy center, the Shreveport incinerator, and the LSU sugar plant. A concluding chapter draws lessons from the PWA's history that might be applied to current political concerns. Also included is an annotated inventory of every PWA project in the state. Finally, this composite picture honors those workers and policymakers who, in a time of despair, expressed hope for the future with this enduring investment.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578069453
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
05/01/2007
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents


List of Tables     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     xvii
A Brief History of the PWA in Louisiana
How to Respond to a Great Depression     3
Harold Ickes Goes to Work     12
Huey Long Versus the PWA     28
The Second Louisiana Purchase     45
Scandal     56
Cultural Infrastructure: Redeveloping Community
Schools     71
Universities     92
Courthouses     108
Physical Infrastructure: Building A Modern Economy
The U.S Marine Hospital at Carville and Other Federal Projects     129
The New Orleans Charity Hospital     138
The French Market     149
The Shreveport Incinerator     157
Sugar     162
The New Orleans Sewer and Water Project     166
Beyond the Bayous     180
The Legacy: An Inventory of Nonfederal PWA Projects in Louisiana     187
Notes     269
Index     291

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