Preston and Valley View: The Calm Before the Storm — 1958

by Paula Bosse

preston-lbj_122158_squire-haskins_utaLBJ Freeway, T-minus 6 years…. (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This photo makes my head hurt. The road crossing horizontally at the bottom is Preston. The vertical road at the left is Valley View Lane (the view is to the west). What we’re looking at is land soon to be eaten up by LBJ Freeway, which was built along Valley View.

This fantastic photo by aerial photographer Squire Haskins (which can be seen REALLY big at the UTA website here) is included in Oscar Slotboom’s book Dallas-Fort Worth Freeways. This is his caption to the above photo:

“Preston at LBJ, 1958. This December 1958 view looks west along Valley View Lane with the Preston Road intersection at the lower left. LBJ Freeway was built along Valley View Lane with work underway in 1964. A Sears store opened in the foreground in 1965 and Valley View Mall opened in 1973. The corridor was fully urbanized by the 1980s.”

The only street directory I could find fairly close to the date of this photo was the one from 1961 — which already shows development not seen in the photograph. By this time, people knew the freeway was coming, but it was still fairly sparsely developed. (See  what the area looked like on a really cool 1957 map, here.)

Here is the listing of addresses along Valley View Lane, stretching from Inwood, east past Central Expressway. (Click for larger image.)

valley-view_1961-directory
Valley View Lane, 1961 Dallas directory

And, below, addresses along Preston Road, moving north from Forest Lane. The thing that makes me lightheaded about this, is one particular business, way, WAY up north — out in the middle of nothing back in 1961: Lilyan’s Original Hats, at Preston and Alpha. That was my great-aunt’s hat shop. She owned that land. Imagine! She sold it, I think, in the ’70s. I can only hope she made a pretty penny!

preston-road_1961-directory
Preston Road, 1961 Dallas directory

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Photo from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, UTA Libraries; more info here.

More on the construction of LBJ can be found in the chapter “Interstate 635, Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway” (from Oscar Slotboom’s amazingly researched book Dallas-Fort Worth Highways), here.

The 1957 map linked above is one of many scanned roadmaps which can be found on Slotboom’s site — the page “Old Highway Maps of Texas, 1917-1973) is here.

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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