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Early Fifties Rush Hour Traffic Scene in Wellston

We are back in the St. Louis metropolitan area once again, this time in Wellston located on the northwestern side of the city and about three miles north of Richmond Heights which was visited yesterday. The Katz Drug store and the Wellson Loop transit building on Easton Boulevard (now Martin Luther King Drive) are both on the left side of the image.

Out in front of the structures is a representative assortment of forties and early fifties cars, buses, and a streetcar; at one time the City of St. Louis is reported to have had one of the best transit systems in the country. Unfortunately much like parts of Detroit and sections of other big cities, almost everything in this view is gone, and a street view shows how Wellston has not faired very well. Once a bustling area, many of the buildings have been torn down, and the population has dropped to about two-thousand, about one-fifth of it what was during the fifties. The image is courtesy of Vintage St. Louis.


9 responses to “Early Fifties Rush Hour Traffic Scene in Wellston

  1. Flew over the city a number of years ago and it looked like a civil war battlefield. Turn of century houses burned out or in major disrepair. Sad to see.

    • Parts of the city do look like that especially North St. Louis. Where Wellston is located is the beginning of the “bad area” and lots of historic buildings are gone now. I live about 50 miles east of St. Louis in Illinois.

  2. Road rage in the early 50’s? The Packard has to be a ’51, as in ’52 they discontinued the “upright winged” Cormorant. Bathtub Nash looks pretty new.

  3. Observe the rear bumper of the Packard and the front bumper of the Buick behind it. The Packard looks about an inch or sow low in the rear, doesn’t it? I bet those big chrome bumpers are locked together, something that doesn’t happen any more but that used to be a regular occurrence in the good old days when cars HAD bumpers.

    I can hear the poor so-and-so telephoning his wife: Him: “Yeah, I’m okay. I just bumped the car in front of me and we’re trying to get our bumpers unlocked.” Her: “How’s the car you hit?” Him: “I think it’s okay – I won’t know until we can get unstuck.” Guy in the background: “Hey! I need a few guys over here to bounce this Packard!” Her: Wait – WHAT?! Did that guy say PACKARD?! For God’s sake, Harry, you hit a PACKARD?!! How in the name of Hell did you go into St. Louis and manage to run into the only lawyer driving a car that cost more than our house???!!! JEEZUS! Can you hear what my father will say? ‘You borrow my Buick to go and – what? – visit your chippie? – and you don’t have the brains to crash into a blankey-blank old Ford, you moron??!!'”

  4. Love that picture. A lot of great cars, but the one that stands out to me is the ’51 Nash 2 door sedan. Not sure if it’s the Statesman or Ambassador.
    Thanks for the photo.

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