Here stood Boston's "Highway in the Sky," so labeled in the 1950s by local media expressing the official hopes for a new elevated expressway.
Boston's leaders chose to raze hundreds of homes and commercial buildings for the progressive project. The expressway was to decongest Boston's obsolete and crooked street network and "prune" away decayed portions of the city, inviting new investment downtown.
However, the highway and its supporting structure effectively cut off Boston's North End and waterfront from the rest of the city, and it came to be regarded as an eyesore. When traffic overwhelmed the expressway, Boston sought federal assistance to enlarge and bury the Central Artery, a project known as "The Big Dig."