Built in 1935-36, the Mount Pleasant High School Mechanical Arts Building
is part of the Public Works Buildings Thematic Resources nomination and is w significant because it helps document the impact of New Deal programs in Utah, which was one of the states that the Great Depression of the 1930s most severely affected. In 1933 Utah had an unemployment rate of 36 percent, the fourth highest in the country, and for the period 1932-1940 Utah’s unemployment rate averaged 25 percent. Because the depression hit Utah so hard, federal programs were extensive in the state. Overall, per capita federal spending in Utah during the 1930s was 9th among the 48 states, and the percentage of workers on federal work projects was far above the national average. Building programs were of great importance. During the 1930s virtually every public building constructed in Utah, including county courthouses, city halls, fire stations, national guard armories, public school buildings, and a variety of others, were built under federal programs by one of several agencies, including the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the National Youth Administration (NYA), the Works Progress Administration (WPA), or the Public Works Administration (PWA), and almost without exception none of the buildings would have been built when they were without the assistance of the federal government.
The Mount Pleasant High School Mechanical Arts Building is one of 233
public works buildings identified in Utah that were built during the 1930s and early 1940s. Only 130 of those 233 buildings are known to remain today and retain their historic integrity. This is one of 107 public school buildings
constructed in Utah, 55 of which remain. In Sanpete County 18 buildings were built. This is one of 11 that remain and are relatively unaltered.
The building was constructed between 1935 and 1936 as a Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) project. It was a duplicate of the Moroni High School Mechanical Arts Building that was constructed at the same time. The project was approved in November 1934; construction began in January of 1935 and was completed in April 1936.
This building is one of three high school shop buildings constructed in
Sanpete County using the same basic design. The other two are in Ephraim and Moroni, both of which are still standing and eligible for nomination. All
three of these buildings are large, two-story box-like structures with
rectangular plans and centrally placed two-story entrance porticos. The Mt.
Pleasant building, like the one in Moroni, is built of cream-colored limestone and has a low-pitched hip roof. The openings are arranged symmetrically around the entrance bay which has a gable roof, heavy cornice returns, a round arch upper story window, and a molded cornice over the door itself. There are low-relief quoins at the corners. The building remains in good original condition.