Grandview Heights Moment in Time

Wayne Carlson
Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society
Workers funded by the depression-era Works Progress Administration program are shown starting work on the tennis courts, ticket office and concession stand and at the stadium at Grandview Heights High School.

Started during the Great Depression, the federal Works Progress Administration program provided funds for construction, renovation and other projects across the United States until the postwar boom in 1943. In Grandview Heights, the WPA was responsible for constructing, renovating and maintaining city school district buildings and grounds, as well as several other projects in the community. 

For example, WPA funds were used to construct the tennis courts and a ticket building-concession stand at the athletics fields just to the north of the high school in 1936. The program also earmarked $28,000 for the construction of a new stadium on the athletics field on the condition that the district would contribute an additional $3,000 toward the construction effort. School officials turned to the community, and a successful fundraising effort guaranteed the down payment. However, as construction was scheduled to begin, officials in Washington, D.C., sent a letter requiring an increased payment. 

Dedicated to the success of this effort, the "stadium boosters" fundraising effort continued, and the 1,250-seat stadium was completed and dedicated Oct. 7, 1938. The Bobcats defeated Westerville 25-7 in the inaugural game that night. Representatives from schools throughout the state had arrived to tour the stadium facility during the dedication, which was seen as one of the finest combination facilities of its size. 

The top photo shows WPA workers doing site preparation by erecting a barbed-wire chain-link fence. They are shown standing at the northwest corner of Fairview and Third avenues. The bottom photo shows the athletics field just prior to construction of the stadium.

This historical narrative from the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was provided by Wayne Carlson.