Federal Works Agency

Federal Works Building, Eighteenth and F. Streets NW.
EXecutive 4900, Branch 4511

Administrator Maj. Gen. Philip B. Fleming
Assistant Administrator Baird Snyder
Executive Officer Ernest E. Hall
General Counsel Alan Johnstone
Assistant to the Administrator George H. Field
Chief Engineer William N. Carey
Director of Information Aubrey E. Taylor

Creation and Authority.--The Federal Works Agency was created by the President's Reorganization Plan I, dated April 25, 1939, under the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1939.

By Executive order 8194, dated July 6, 1939, the Federal Fire Council was placed under the Federal Works Agency.

Purpose.--The Federal Works Agency was established to consolidate those agencies of the Federal Government dealing with public works not incidental to the normal work of other departments, and which administer Federal grants or loans to State and local governments or other agencies for the purposes of construction.

Executive Order 9357 of June 30, 1943, transferred the functions and powers of the Public Works Administration and of the Commissioner of Public Works to the office of the Federal Works Administrator, where they are in process of liquidation.

Organization.--The work and activities of the Federal Works Agency are under the supervision and direction of the Federal Works Administrator. The Administrator is assisted by the Commissioners of Public Roads, Public Buildings, and Community Facilities and staff officers. There is also a Policy Review Board whose membership is composed of the Assistant Federal Works Administrator as Chairman, the Commissioner of Public Buildings, the Commissioner of Public Roads, the Commissioner of Public Buildings, Chief Engineer, Executive Officer, and the General Counsel.

Advance Planning for Non-Federal Public Works.--Under title V of the War Mobilization and Reconversion Act of 1944, approved October 3, 1944 (58 Stat. 791), the Federal Works Administrator is authorized to make advances to States and other non-Federal public agencies to assist them in the plan preparation of their proposed public works to be constructed when labor and materials become available. An Assistant to the Administrator has been designated by the Administrator to handle matters in connection with this authorization.


Philip B. Fleming


Public Buildings Administration

Federal Works Building, Eighteenth and F Streets NW.
EXecutive 4900

Commissioner of Public Buildings W.E. Reynolds
Assistant Commissioner H.G. Hunter
Deputy Commissioner, in charge of--  
  Design and Construction George Howe
  Buildings Management C.A. Peters
  Real Estate Management E.R. Witman
  Administration R.O. Jennings

Creation and Authority.--The Public Buildings Administration was established as a part of the Federal Works Agency under the provisions of Reorganization Plan I, section 303, pursuant to the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1939 (53 Stat. 561; 5 U.S.C. 133), approved April 3, 1939.

Purpose.--The Public Buildings Administration, under the direction of the Commissioner of Public Buildings, is responsible for the administrative, technical, and clerical functions incident to the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and repair of Federal buildings.


Deputy Commissioner for Design and Construction.--Is responsible for architectural and engineering designs and specifications. Manages contracts and supervises contractors operations for the construction, reconstruction, extension, and remodeling of public buildings under the jurisdiction of the Public Buildings Administration.

Deputy Commissioner for Buildings, Management.--Operates, maintains, and protects all buildings under the jurisdiction of the Public Buildings Administration. Repairs buildings, including leased properties, operated by the Public Buildings Administration in the District of Columbia. Does all moving of Government agencies into, out of, or within buildings operated by the Public Buildings Administration.

Deputy Commissioner for Real Estate Management.--Collects preplanning data for determining building projects and assigns space in buildings throughout the country. Administers the acquisition of space on a rental basis for all Federal activities in the DIstrict of Columbia and the housing of Federal agencies in buildings outside the District of Columbia. Administers leasing and sale of surplus real estate and maintains an inventory of Government-owned real estate. For the account of the National Housing Agency, operates and manages residence halls projects in and near the District of Columbia.

Deputy Commissioner for Administration.--Directs administrative, fiscal, and personnel functions and services, legal functions, subject to the technical supervision of the General Counsel of the Federal Works Agency, and budgetary and administrative planning.


Division Offices--Public Buildings Administration
Division Address
No. 1. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York State 1201 Customhouse, Boston 9, Mass.
No. 2. Delaware, Greater New York City, New Jersey 731 Customhouse, New York 4, N.Y.
No. 3. District of Columbia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia 3102 City Post Office, Washington 25, D.C.
No. 4. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico 214-M Post Office, Federal Annex, Atlanta 3, Ga.
No. 5. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin 377 U.S. Courthouse, Chicago 4, Ill.
No. 6. Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming 514 New Post Office, Kansas City 8, Mo.
No. 7. Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas 550 New Post Office, Dallas 1, Tex.
No. 8. Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Alaska, hawaiian Islands, Philippine Islands 838 U.S. Appraisers Building, 30 Sansome Street, San Francisco 11, Calif.


W.E. Reynolds
Commissioner of Public Buildings

Public Roads Administration

Federal Works Building, Eighteenth and F Streets NW.
EXecutive 4950

Commissioner Thomas H. MacDonald
Deputy Commissioner, in charge of--  
  Finance and Business Management C.D. Curtiss
  Construction and Maintenance J.S. Bright
  Research H.S. Fairbank
  Design L.E. Boykin
Solicitor L.E. Boykin
District Engineer in Charge of Road Construction in National Parks, East and South H.J. Spelman
Chief, Inter-American Regional Office E.W. James
District Engineer, District 10 C.E. Swain

Creation and Authority.--The Public Roads Administration had its beginnings as the Office of Road Inquiry, created by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1893 under authority of the Agricultural Appropriation Act for the fiscal year 1894. It has since functioned under various names. The Federal-Aid Road Act of July 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 355; 16 U.S.C. 503; 23 U.S.C. 15, 48), initiated Federal aid for highways and placed administration under the Secretary of Agriculture, who functioned through this organization, known then as the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering, and after July 1, 1918, as the


Bureau of Public Roads. The authority of the Secretary of Agriculture was continued by the Federal Highway Act of November 9, 1921 (42 Stat. 212; 23 U.S.C. 1-4, 6-25), and he continued to act through the Bureau of Public Roads. Under the reorganization effected July 1, 1939, all functions of the Secretary of Agriculture relating to the administration of the Bureau of Public Roads were transferred to the Federal Works Administrator and the Bureau became the Public Roads Administration of the Federal Works Agency.


Normally, this organization administers the regular Federal-aid funds and the emergency appropriations for road construction. It cooperates with the Department of Agriculture in the construction of forest roads. It supervises the construction of national park roads for the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior

A large part of the work is done cooperatively with the State highway departments, and contact with them is maintained through a regional office at San Francisco, 13 division offices, and State representatives.

The Public Roads Administration conducts research in highway design, construction, transportation, and economics as an aid to the proper administration of Federal road funds.

War Activities.--Since the beginning of the war, approval of new projects ahs been limited to those of direct and immediate importance to the war effort. Only projects certified and approved by Federal officials in charge of war operations have been undertaken. The Defense Highway Act of 1941 and its amendments authorized funds for construction of access roads to war industries, Army and Navy establishments, and to sources of war materials. It also provided funds for correction of critical deficiencies in the strategic network of highways. A large program of highway construction, necessary in the conduct of the war, has bene carried on with the assistance of the State highway departments. Available regular Federal-aid funds have been used where war needs coincide with the purposes for which these funds were authorized. The program of access road construction is now in its last stages.

Planning of major highway projects for post-war construction is now being carried on in cooperation with the States. This planning is financed by another $10,000,000 authorization under the Defense Highway Act of 1941. In further legislation approved July 13, 1943, Congress also authorized the Commissioner of Public Roads to expend for advance planning in each State any existing unobligated Federal-aid funds available to such State but not exceeding an amount which would represent such State's share of $50,000,000 apportioned under the regular Federal-aid apportionment formula.

The Federal-aid Highway Act of December 20, 1944, authorizes $500,000,000 for needed highway improvements and to provide employment during each of the first 3 post-war years. The funds are assigned: $225,000,000 for the Federal-aid system, $150,000,000 for secondary of feeder roads, and $125,000,000 for the Federal-aid system in urban areas. A National System of Interstate Highways connecting the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial


areas and to serve the national defense is to be designated. The system may not exceed 40,000 miles in extent and is to be included as a part of the Federal-aid system. The future work of the Public Roads organization will consist largely of the preparations for the construction of authorized highways to begin promptly at the end of the emergency.

Members of the physical research staff are now engaged in the study of war problems. Those engaged in economic research are supplying to emergency agencies data on motor vehicle use, gasoline consumption, and highway transport facilities for use in determining war transport and rationing policies.

Division Offices--Public Roads Administration
Division Headquarters
No. 1. Oregon, Washington, Montana Post Office Building, Portland 8, Oreg.
No. 2. California, Arizona, Nevada 720 Phelan Building, San Francisco 2, Calif.
No. 3. Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming 254 New Customhouse, Denver 2, Colo.
No. 4. Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin 1109 Main Post Office Building, St Paul 1, Minn.
No. 5. Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska 729 U.S. Courthouse, Kansas City 6, Mo.
No. 6. Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas Room 5602, United States Courthouse, Fort Worth 2, Tex.
No. 7. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan 2038 E. 92d Street, Chicago 17, Ill.
No. 8. Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee Post Office Building, Montgomery 1, Ala.
No. 9. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont 76 State Street, Albany 1, N.Y.
No. 10. Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia 1415 K. Street NW., Washington 25, D.C.
No. 11. Alaska Room 419, Federal and Territorial Building, Juneau, Alaska
No. 12. Idaho, Utah Federal Building, Ogden, Utah
No. 14. North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia Montgomery Building, Spartanburg, S.C.
Headquarters for Western Region 720 Phelan Building, San Francisco 2, Calif.


Thomas H. MacDonald

Federal Fire Council

Room 6336, Federal Works Building, Eighteenth and F Streets NW.
EXecutive 4900, Branch 4248

Commissioner of Public Buildings, Chairman Director of the National Park Service
Quartermaster General Director of the National Bureau of Standards
Fourth Assistant Postmaster General Archivist of the United States
Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks  


Chairman (Commissioner of Public Buildings) W.E. Reynolds
Vice Chairman (Associate Director, National Park Service) A.E. Demaray
Secretary (Engineer Assistant, Public Buildings Administration) Walton C. Clark

Creation and Authority.--The Federal Fire Council was organized in April 190, by collective action of Government departments and establishments, and was established by Executive Order 7397, of June 20, 1936, as an official advisory agency in matters relating to the protection of Federal employees and property from fire. By Executive Order 8194, dated July 6, 1939, the Council was placed under the jurisdiction of the Federal Works Agency.

Purpose.--The Council is authorized to develop standards, procedures, and forms, and, on request, to conduct surveys or such other investigations as may be necessary to determine what measures should be taken to safeguard life and property from the hazards of fire, including review of plans for new construction. The Council also is authorized to make such independent studies of Federal buildings and property as it may deem desirable from the standpoint of fire protection, and to maintain a record of fire losses on Government property.

Activities.--Reports of surveys and other committee actions are submitted for adoption at periodic meetings of the Council. Reports and recommendations involving matters of general policy are subject to the approval of the governing body.

These reports and other informative material are distributed to the membership, to the heads of bureaus and establishments, and to other interested Federal, State, and city officials.

A manual covering the general subject of fire-loss prevention is issued by the Council, together with a fire report form and two types of self-inspection forms. The latter are intended for use within departments and establishments in connection with regular routine inspections. The information on the fire loss is used to determine the principal fire causes, the general ratio of fire loss to the total of values subject to loss, and its trend.


W.E. Reynolds

Federal Real Estate Board

Room 6319, Federal Works Building
EXecutive 4900, Branch 3470

Federal Works Agency, Public Buildings Administration R.G. Church, Acting Chairman
Bureau of the Budget F.J. Lawton
Department of the Treasury Roy Blough
War Department John J. O'Brien
Department of Justice J. Edward Williams
Department of the Navy John J. Courtney
Department of the Interior Joel D. Wolfsohn


Department of Agriculture E.H. Wiecking
Department of Commerce W.S. Erwin
United States Maritime Commission Paul Page, Jr.
National Housing Agency David L. Krooth
Tennessee Valley Authority John I. Snyder

Creation and Authority.--The Federal Real Estate Board was established by Executive Order 8034, dated 14, 1939.

Organization.--The Federal Real Estate Board was established by Executive Order 8034 dated January 14, 1939. The Board is composed of representatives designated by the heads of 12 executive departments and agencies. They serve without additional compensation and without entailing additional expense to the Government.

Activities.--The Board studies and makes appropriate recommendations regarding the situation in communities adversely affected by the loss of tax revenue on Government-owned land; consults with departments and agencies concerned where any real property in Federal ownership is determined available for the use of a department or an agency contemplating acquisition of additional real property; and consults and makes recommendations to the department and agencies concerned with respect to the disposition of surplus real property.


R.G. Church
Acting Chairman

Bureau of Community Facilities

Federal Works Building, Eighteenth and F Streets NW.
EXecutive 4900, Branch 4511

Commissioner George H. Field

Programs for war public works and war public services are under the direction of the Federal Works Administrator, who has established within the Federal Works Agency a Bureau of Community Facilities. A Commissioner of Community Facilities, under the general direction and supervision of the Administrator, is responsible for the administration of the provisions of the Lanham Act, as amended, as are or may be vested in the Federal Works Agency.

Under title II of the Lanham Act, approved June 28, 1941 (55 Stat. 361; 42 U.S.C. 1523), and amended by the act approved January 21, 1942, entitled "An Act to provide for the acquisition and equipment of public works made necessary by the defense program," the Federal Works Administrator is authorized, with the approval of the President, to acquire lands or interests therein and to construct certain public works on such lands; the Administrator is also authorized to make loans and/or grants to public agencies and to nonprofit private agencies to finance their construction of certain public works; he is also authorized to make contribution to public agencies


and to nonprofit private agencies in aid of their operation and maintenance of certain public works.

The term "public work," as used in the act, means any facility necessary for carrying on community life substantially expanded by the War Program. The act provides, however, that the activities so authorized shall be devoted primarily to schools, waterworks, sewers, sewage, garbage, and refuse disposal facilities, public sanitary facilities, works for the treatment and purification of water, hospitals and other places for the care of the sick, recreational facilities, and streets and access roads.

The act provides that "whenever the President finds that in any area or locality an acute shortage of public works or equipment for public works necessary to the health, safety, or welfare of persons engaged in national defense activities exists or impends which would impeded national defense activities, and that such public works or equipment cannot otherwise be provided when needed, or could not be provided without the imposition of an increased excessive tax burden or an unusual or excessive increase in the debt limit of the taxing or borrowing authority in which such shortage exists, the Federal Works Administrator is authorized, with the approval of the President, in order to relive such shortage," to exercise the authority conferred upon him by the act.

The War Public Services Program includes contributions to assist schools in war areas; health services, particularly hospitals for the rapid treatment of persons infected with venereal diseases; nursery schools and child-care centers for children of working mothers; recreation centers for service men and women and war workers and their families; and assistance in maintaining essential municipal services such as fire, police, and sanitary facilities.

The field activities of the Bureau of Community Facilities are administered through division offices.

Division Offices--Bureau of Community Facilities
Division Headquarters
No. 1. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey New York, N.Y.
No. 2. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia Washington, D.C.
No. 3. North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi Atlanta, Ga.
No. 4. Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin Chicago, Ill.
No. 5. Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas Kansas City, Kans.
No. 6. Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma Fort Worth, Tex.
No. 7. Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Hawaii San Francisco, Calif.
No. 8. Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska Seattle, Wash.


George H. Field


Table of Contents

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