Here's a Photo From When Central Expressway Was a Muddy Ditch

Say what you will about the highway-building mania of the mid-20th century. It led to an unsustainable car-dependent culture, choked off the city center and divided or destroyed neighborhoods. I seriously doubt, for example, that the shacks above were inhabited by well-heeled white people. But these photos, from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, are cool.

The one above, taken in 1947, shows the future route of Central Expressway. The one below, taken from the same spot in 1949, shows the completed road.

The photos were presented by the Dallas Chamber of Commerce to the Texas State Highway Commission in 1952 as they were lobbying for money to build a loop from the downtown industrial district north to the Denton County line. For some reason, they also included a cartoon:

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >