cover of book

Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture, and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America
by Amy D. Finstein
Temple University Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-1-4399-1917-0 | Paper: 978-1-4399-1918-7 | eISBN: 978-1-4399-1919-4
Library of Congress Classification HE355.3.E94F56 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 711.73


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.

Nearby on shelf for Transportation and communications / Traffic engineering. Roads and highways. Streets: