Illustrating I-25’s Impact on Life in Burque’s East Downtown

In 1959, a person living at Silver Ave. and High St. on the east side of Burque’s Downtown could visit a friend at Presbyterian Hospital by walking east along Silver, cutting through Highland Park, and pretty much end up at the front doors of “Prez” in about ten minutes.

By 1961, as shown below via aerial photos from ’59 and that year, those days of walking to Presbyterian were over. Still under construction through this stretch in ’61, I-25 cut the size of Highland Park in half, and effectively separated what some now call “EDo” from the Hospital and much else.

Here’s how that transformation looked; I’ll leave it to you to provide your own narrative for how that transformation might have affected life for those living near either side of the new highway.

hp 59 1
hp 59 2
1959 including outline of modern-day road placement
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hp 61 2
1961 with roads

P.S. “Homework Assignment.” If this pandemic ever ends, go to the Albuquerque Press Club (located right next to “Highland Park Cir” above) and sit on its expansive porch. Look east toward Prez and imagine what life, and that view, much have been like before all that concrete and those 80,000 or so roaring vehicles a day.

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