1938 Storrs

Les Storrs Santa Monica Portrait of a City Yesterday and Today, Santa Monica Bank: Santa Monica, CA, 1974, 67 pp., 1938, 1930s

     " . . . the Depression period . . .

     " . . . the [U.S.] government [funded] various projects . . . some worthwhile . . . some boondoggling . . . welfare disguised as work.

     "Truly constructive works came under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Administration, the others . . . the WPA (Works Progress Administration.)

     "Santa Monica had its share of both, and even set up a municipal office to coordinate the activities.

     "Most significant of the various federally funded projects was the construction of the city hall at its present location.

     "The old building, which had stood since 1906 at the corner of Fourth and Santa Monica Boulevard, was obsolete and in need of enlargement to meet the needs of a growing community.

     "The city had already acquired the necessary site from the Southern Pacific Railway Co., and the new building was completed in 1938, the Main Street elevation then being identical with that of 1974.

     "The same was not true of the Fourth Street side.

     "Fire department headquarters and Engine Co. No. 1 were housed in the south wing, the police department and jail in the north wing. The present police department offices had not been built.

     "The city was . . . still operating under the commission form of government, and it was evident that the three commissioners sought some compensation for . . . their limited salaries . . .

     "They set themselves up in luxurious walnut paneled offices . . .

     " . . .

      "And . . . the present city government is housed in a building which is ill-suited to current needs and which makes it very difficult to effect desirable change which would streamline government."

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017