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pictures of houston freeways 1956 & 1961


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my cuz emailed these pics this week. i thought some of you haifers might enjoy them.

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there are more in the gallery if you like these.

was the whole country freeway happy in the 60s? and those darn feeder roads.....economically good, but i wonder if the designers had any idea of the miles and miles of ugly strip centers we would have today?

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was the whole country freeway happy in the 60s?

Considering the Interstate Highway System was approved by Congress in 1956, and called for nearly 47,000 miles of interstate highways to be built in 12 years, the answer would be an unqualified "Yes".

Edited by RedScare
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Considering the Interstate Highway System was approved by Congress in 1956, and called for nearly 47,000 miles of interstate highways to be built in 12 years, the answer would be an unqualified "Yes".

Of course, back then the political justification was its use for military transportation.

Suburban sprawl and all of the other cultural aspects that we associate with freeways today were already identifiable prior to them being built; it was also just a continuation of a long-standing trend for the general public to use military roads because they were better marked and maintained.

and those darn feeder roads.....economically good, but i wonder if the designers had any idea of the miles and miles of ugly strip centers we would have today?

Feeder roads are a concept that Texas embraced more than any other state; it was a concession to rural property owners that were concerned that a road dividing their fields would result in excessive detours to access and cultivate both parcels of land.

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I don't think cars were heavier then than now. A 1957 Chevy 2 door had a curb weight of 3200 pounds. Our Volvo S60, not a large car at all, has a curb weight of 3400 pounds. Cars today have more structure in them, such as stronger doors with protection beams, engineered crumple zones, airbags, air conditioners, larger enginer accesories, etc.

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my cuz emailed these pics this week. i thought some of you haifers might enjoy them.

gallery_19_100_17407.jpg

gallery_19_100_4136.jpg

gallery_19_100_31590.jpg

there are more in the gallery if you like these.

was the whole country freeway happy in the 60s? and those darn feeder roads.....economically good, but i wonder if the designers had any idea of the miles and miles of ugly strip centers we would have today?

Maybe the designers did not have a clue, but I bet the developers did. I remember my father in the 1960's wishing he'd owned land along the Gulf Freeway and the Northwest Freeway.

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I assume this is looking south at the Wayside exit, with Sunnyland on the left. I wonder what ever happened to all of those trees?

This is one of the best topics yet!

If that is Sunnyland street to the far left then there presently stands the Carlos Garcia Realty Bldg. That bldg appears to have been built in early 60's maybe? It was originally just a multi use office bldg until Garcia took over. Then a couple of billboards placed there when new.

The homes are there they just cant be seen.

Imagine how tempting it would be to dart across those street level lanes. Scary.

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Man those guys in the observation posts were taking their lives in their hands. Those telephone poles surely wouldn't stand a chance today if hit by a regular motorist going freeway speeds.

And weren't cars back then heavier still?

lol lol

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  • 3 months later...
I assume this is looking south at the Wayside exit, with Sunnyland on the left. I wonder what ever happened to all of those trees?

I would have thought that this picture was looking north, and that the Forest Park sign was actually on their property. It would be about where those halfway town down motel buildings are.

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Ahhh yes, for old folks like me, these pictures reflect wonderful memories of my youth. It was great to be young in the 60s and Houston was a wonderful place to live. I remember when the center barrier on the gulf freeway was gone for a while, really scary. My dad wouldn't let me drive until they were up. The frontage roads were kind of fun for teens, you could just stop and go all along the way, lol.

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I would have thought that this picture was looking north, and that the Forest Park sign was actually on their property. It would be about where those halfway town down motel buildings are.

Looking at Google Streetview, I think you are right. I forgot the exit for Wayside is south of the Bayou. That house with the steeply pitched roof is still there, but appears to be remuddled into some low-end business. The neighborhood would be Brookline, not Sunnyland.

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