The Arroyo Seco Parkway as museum piece

The Arroyo Seco Parkway, commonly known as the Pasadena Freeway, today was honored with the opening of a museum-style exhibit, “Arroyo Seco Parkway:  Dawn of the Freeway Age.” It’s the first-time state highway builder Caltrans has showcased a freeway in an exhibit, said spokeswoman Judy Gish.  The exhibition at Caltran’s regional headquarters in downtown Los Angeles comes after L.A.’s first freeway, which  winds across Northeast Los Angeles, turned 70 in December.  What is there to see in a freeway exhibit? Inside Seven, an agency newsletter, explains:

“Exhibit visitors can view archival photos, historic survey equipment, an impressive bronze plaque created for the freeway’s 50th anniversary in 1989, and two videos created by Steve Devorkin, videographer in the district’s Graphics Unit. The videos include wonderful archival footage of the early days of the freeway, contemporary footage shot in the past few months … “

The agency has been criticized in recent months from preservationists upset over a safety improvement project that has resulted in the demolition of some of the parkway’s original features.  Caltrans, however, lead an effort to have the Arroyo Seco Parkway listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Caltrans official Alberto Angelini told Inside Seven that the exhibit serves as a belated birthday present for the parkway. “This is a way to celebrate that important milestone,” .

The exhibit is open weekdays during business hours at Caltrans’s District Seven headquarters, 100 S. Main.

Photo by Kevitivity/Flickr

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