The field of destruction through West Los Angeles for the San Diego Freeway, looking south from the VA reservation in 1957. USC Libraries - Los Angeles Examiner Collection.
The freeway building boom that began with the Arroyo Seco Parkway in the late 1930s and continued for three decades made the city of four million people possible, but the damage done to neighborhoods and whole communities across Los Angeles was painful and, as we now know, permanent and profound. Nathan Masaters does a great job of pulling all the carnage together in a post for Gizmodo. "Los Angeles scarred its landscapes, split its communities, and displaced a quarter-million people to build its 527-mile freeway system," he writes. Whole thing.