Looking Backward: Kensington Expressway & New York State Thruway

by / May. 17, 2017 12am EST
Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.- Lewis Mumford

The Kensington Expressway began construction in 1957, one year after the completion of the New York State Thruway. The Kensington’s planners commissioned artists to depict the expressway from the only vantage point at which it can likely be appreciated: from the air. Illustrated here at its proposed interchange with the Thruway, the Kensington is seen looking west from Cheektowaga toward Buffalo. To illustrate how the view from an aircraft mattered much, and how people on the ground mattered little, the illustration absurdly depicts seven orphaned single-family homes (now demolished) on Maryvale Drive in the middle of a cloverleaf. The interchange, like all such cloverleaf interchanges, is huge: consuming about 3,296,000 square feet of space, or enough to fit 66 Ellicott Square Buildings.

Over “proposed interchange”: