Flashback Friday: Building the 110 Freeway through Elysian Park

The photos below show the construction of what is now the southbound 110 freeway lanes through Elysian Park in the early 1940s – the lanes were opened in 1943. It took me a while to exactly picture the freeway here now, and with Dodger Stadium things look a lot different than they did back then. The 1930s era Figueroa Street tunnels are still there, then with no graffiti.

LAPL photo #00075980

Photo caption reads: “Rushing the work to relieve the bottleneck of the Figueroa tunnels for traffic on the Arroyo Seco freeway that runs between Los Angeles and Pasadena, crews are shown building the new parallel road through Elysian Park. In one section a whole mountain is being moved to fill in dirt for the new relief road for the heavy traffic.” Photo dated March 7, 1941.

Larga Avenue at Silver Lake Blvd.

LAPL photo #00075981

Photo caption reads: “Construction of the $2,437,000 Arroyo Seco freeway through Elysian Park, a section of which is shown above, today entered the national defense picture. Frank W. Clark, state director of public works, has asked federal authorities for priorities on steel and cement to complete the project on the grounds that it is of strategic value in the national defense program around this city.” Photo dated August 11, maybe 1941.

Notice the beautiful Solano Avenue Elementary School to the left of the freeway (and no Dodger Stadium yet!). The scaffolding could possible be for a Red Car?

FYI, the interchange that connects the 110 freeway and the 101 in downtown is the country’s first “stack interchange” in the world, opened in 1953.

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