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:
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