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America on the Move: Early-1970s Kodachrome Interstate Highway Scenes

While searching for freeway and Interstate Highway photographs recently we came across this set of four Kodachrome images. The lead photo was taken in 1973 and the second and third pictures (below) were taken in 1972 and contain traffic headed southbound on Interstate Highway 35W. The last shot contains a traffic jam on the Hollywood Freeway and is followed by a video of the opening of the Hollywood Boulevard.

Share with us what you find of interest in photos one to three that are courtesy of the Hennepin County Library followed by a Hollywood Freeway image courtesy of the National Archives.

  • Looking north at traffic in July of 1972 on Interstate Highway 35W  near the center of Minneapolis, MN.

  • Traffic on Interstate Highway 35W at 38th Street in Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN in 1962. 

  • Hollywood Freeway traffic jam in May of 1972.

  • This video from the 1:17 minute and forward shows the first cars to be driven on the new Hollywood Freeway in 1950.

21 responses to “America on the Move: Early-1970s Kodachrome Interstate Highway Scenes

  1. The captions for the Minneapolis pictures got swapped. The photo with the Curtis Hotel (long gone!) and the Grain Belt Truck is where Mary Tyler Moore drove in to Minneapolis in the opening scenes of the show. The building with the clock tower is Mpls City Hall and is beautifully restored now. We are in the middle of a huge freeway rebuilding job so the first photo is all piles of dirt and new bridges being built. The lower photo all got rebuilt a few years ago and is now 5 lanes each side!!

  2. In the Lead Photo from 1973 is taken from the same 38th St bridge as in Item 2 of 3 looking north at the pair of bridges at 36th and 35th Streets. In Item 2 of 3 in the distance we see the pointed top of the 1928 Foshay Tower on the right, at 32 stories the tallest in the city until supplanted by the 57-story IDS Building seen on the left

    In Item 1 of 3 we’re looking from the 15th St overpass at the 11th St exit bridge at the terminus of 35W. The Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Building of pink granite finished in 1909 is seen in the distance on the right. To the left is the Telephone Building and the First National Bank Building (now US Bank).

  3. Great Hollywood Freeway video–got a chuckle out of the way the very first drivers started jockeying for position and it hasn’t changed in 70 years.

  4. An incredible lack of foreign cars, 2 VW’s. 2nd , both trucks appear to be Louisville Fords, 3rd pic, an IH Loadstar 1600, new look GM transit bus, and I believe a GMC Astro cabover pulling a freight box, 4th pic, we’re not in the Twin Cities anymore. Lot’s of foreign stuff, and Kenworth truck way back. Video, what is that white car @1:36? Looks like sound equipment, and I got a chuckle, grand opening, and already they’re jamming up. Clearly, the guy in the Caddy wants to move. The L.A. freeway system while under construction, was the scene of many Hollywood chase scenes. Jack Webb had them in his shows. I think they gave him special privileges for that.

  5. In the lead picture, driving toward the photographer in two lanes on the left, is a red 1964 CHEVROLET tilted to the driver’s side.

  6. Lots of full-size Chevys in first picture. On our left, Gold color ’69 second behind it a Blue looks like a ’72. Next lane another ’69. Third lane a ’70, looks like a Red ’64 in the lane on our right.

  7. Great film!

    The most interesting car was the converted Buick used in the “Topper” movies. Otherwise a great assortment. The 42 Dodge survived the war well. The 49 and 51 Fords showed how advanced the design was, especially when compared to the DeSoto that was the lead car.

    It was also interesting how almost all the men wore hats.

    Thanks for posting.

  8. I think I see a 1942 DeSoto with the hidden headlights coming down on the left in the Hollywood Freeway video. Am I right ?

  9. In the second photo, the bus is not a GM New Look, it is a Flexible. Note the division bars in the windshield assy. GMs had a one piece windshield.

  10. Owning one, I had a good laugh at the red Willys making that pass in the video. Something mine has yet to do. Great video, thank you.

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