Before, during & after images of Interstate highway injustice

Below are a series of photographs that depict the destruction wrought upon urban neighborhoods across the United States during the freeway building boom of the 1940s-1980s. Depicted are a variety of before, during, and after images of the Interstate injustice done by carving out and ripping through the heart of cities.

I-5 ripping through Seattle – Source:

Elevated freeways built upon “concrete pillars from hell” created a vertical shield of window-like blinders that blocked views. Sunken freeway were concrete lined moats separating the haves from the have-nots. Entire neighborhoods and local business districts, disproportionately African-American, underprivileged, and/or poor, were the wholesale victims of this armed assault with bulldozers, graders, and cement mixers.

Pillars from Hell in Dallas – Source:

Left in the wake of this Interstate injustice were areas that took years to rebuild from the displacement, if they did at all. Those residents who were left behind in the remnants of once-thriving midtown and inner-city neighborhoods were subjected to increased noise levels, added air pollution, greater stormwater runoff, and the related health issues of residing amidst the din of destruction. The Interstate highway building era certainly was not one America’s proudest moments.


Claiborne Avenue destruction in New Orleans – Source:



Hastings Street destruction in Detroit – Source:



Atlanta – Source:



I-95 cutting through Richmond – Source:–history-professor-earns-grant-to-e.html



Westside of Cincinnati – Source:



The death of Miami’s Overtown neighborhood as seen in three images – Source:



I-295 in DC – Source:



More pillars from hell – Source:



I-35W route through Minneapolis – Source:




If you would like to learn more on this topic, here are several visual links to books available though*

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*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using these links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This entry was posted in cities, civics, Civil Rights, civility, commerce, environment, geography, government, health, Highway displacement, history, Housing, human rights, humanity, infrastructure, injustice, land use, Maps, pictures, planning, spatial design, sprawl, topography, traffic, transportation, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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