A crowd of about 100 onlookers watched Oct. 30 as master mason Brian Kostreba mortared into place a granite sign that reads “WPA 1936” as the final element of a two-month, $200,000 restoration project to help preserve St. Cloud State’s First Avenue Walls.
View a photo gallery from the WPA Wall dedication event.
Built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the walls line the sidewalk on the east side of First Avenue from 8th Street south to University Bridge.
The vast majority of the rough granite facing stones and polished granite capstones in the First Avenue Walls remain original material.
“We knew we had to respect the character of the walls,” said John Frischmann, facilities construction coordinator.
The Great Depression federal relief WPA program created $11 billion in public works projects between 1935 and 1943, according to Bill Morgan, professor emeritus of American Studies who spoke at the dedication event.