Modern Mobility Aloft

Modern Mobility Aloft

Elevated Highways, Architecture, and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America

Urban Life, Landscape and Policy

by Amy D. Finstein

Published by: Temple University Press

320 pages, 178.00 x 254.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9781439919187
  • Published: October 2020


The construction of elevated highways in the pre-Interstate highway era not only was designed to be a cutting-edge solution to urban traffic congestion, but also asserted bold visions for civic pride and economic, architectural, and transportation modernity. Yet the stories of cities like Boston, Chicago, and New York show that the long-term implications of these elevated roads fell short of their utopian goals.  Modern Mobility Aloft is the first study to focus on pre-Interstate urban elevated highways within American architectural and urban history. Amy Finstein traces the idealistic roots of these superstructures, their contrasting realities once built, their significant impact on successive development patterns, and the recent challenges they have posed to contemporary urban designers.Filled with more than 100 historic photographs and illustrations of Beaux Arts and art deco architecture, Modern Mobility Aloft provides a critical understanding of urban landscapes, transportation, and technological change as cities moved into the modern era.