Developed as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's massive package of assistance programs designed to pull the United States out of the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was known for employing thousands of artists to paint murals in federal buildings and for also employing thousands of the nations' unemployed in hundreds of massive construction projects around the country. One of these many programs was also designed to create maps of various locales, including many of America's many urban areas. Not surprisingly, one of the areas surveyed by the WPA was Los Angeles. This website, provided by USC, allows users access to 345 hand-colored maps from the 1933-1939 land use survey of the city. The maps themselves identify whether land was vacant or used for commercial, farming, residential, industrial, manufacturing, or recreational purposes. Along with viewing various maps of the different neighborhoods throughout the city, visitors can search the contents of the maps.
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