The WPA (Works Progress Administration, which became the Works Projects Administration in 1939) provided the dignity of a job to the unemployed of America’s Great Depression, while supplying rural communities needed public infrastructure and giving art and amenities to the cities.
The WPA improvements in Minnehaha Park were invaluable, and many of those–staircases and such–still serve 80 years later.
This photo is was taken on June 11, 1904, and shows that the Park Board’s viewing platform wasn’t holding up as well as one might hope. This looks like a combination of vandalism and deterioration, with groundwater probably playing a part in the crumbling edge. The land where this platform was looks like this today: