Past & Present: Skylines and streetcars

Photo courtesy of the University of North Texas Libraries, the Portal to Texas History, via the private collection of Mary Newton Maxwell.
Photo courtesy of the University of North Texas Libraries, the Portal to Texas History, via the private collection of Mary Newton Maxwell.

What a difference 81 years makes.

In 1937, the Houston Street Viaduct (below) was 27 years old, and a parallel trestle brought the streetcar across the Trinity River from Downtown to Oak Cliff.

Now the Houston bridge carries cars one way into our neighborhood, and the new streetcar line was added to it in 2015.

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The Houston Street Viaduct was built following the massively destructive flood of 1908, which swept away or flooded all Trinity crossings, leaving Oak Cliff and West Dallas stranded from the rest of the city.

The 7,000-foot Jefferson Boulevard Viaduct, on the right-hand side of the bottom photo, was built for $6 million and opened in February 1973, making it 45 years old this month. Around 6,000 cars pass over the two bridges every day.

(Photo by Danny Fulgencio)
(Photo by Danny Fulgencio)
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