The start of construction on the Northwest Expressway at Armitage in 1958


This aerial photograph if viewed closely shows the major stages that were required in building an urban expressway. The picture was taken by the State in October of 1958 as they began construction on this section of the Northwest Expressway.  Armitage Avenue is the major street in the bottom of the photo and demolition is obviously still under way south of that street.  However north of Armitage all of the right-of-away has been cleared as far as Fullerton beyond which the Diversity Avenue bridge piers have been completed, buildings cleared but the street’s still exist.  In the fully cleared section Webster Street has been decked over and the piers on the north half of the Damen Avenue structure finished.  The expressway’s effect on the continuity of the Chicago grid system is apparent as Wood Street a north-south secondary street in the foreground will no longer go north to Elston Avenue as it did previously.  The photo clearly shows the advantages of running adjacent to the railroad by limiting the number of streets, like Wood that were truncated by the expressway.  (CATS Collection of Transportation Photograph donated by Roger Janakus)