When DC built the Southwest-Southeast Freeway, it simply demolished whole swaths of the surrounding neighborhoods. Photographs from the construction show the street grid that once existed, and the extent of the destruction just to speed driving to Virginia.

Looking west on May 9, 1958. All photos from DDOT.

Looking east from 4th Street on May 9, 1958.

Photos posted earlier show the construction in progress, 10 years later, as the freeway moved into Near Southeast.

Looking east on October 17, 1968.

Looking west on October 17, 1968.

Looking north on October 17, 1968. The freeway’s end is at the very left edge of the photo.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions here are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.