Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Exploring East Columbus Avenue

For those unfamiliar with Springfield, MA, East Columbus Avenue runs parallel to Interstate 91, along its eastern side. It is a one way street, going northbound to match the northbound traffic of the highway. Its sister avenue, West Columbus Avenue, runs along Interstate 91's western side (and is also a one way, running southbound). The east/west split was due to the construction of Interstate 91 back in the 1960s. Before that, many of the side streets that now end at East Columbus Avenue (stumped by the highway) used to extend westward to the riverfront & railroad tracks. Oldtimers from the South End tend to blame the construction of Interstate 91 for the demise of that section of the city, though the flood of 1936 (among others) certainly didn't help any.


Entering onto East Columbus Avenue from the South End of Springfield, the road will eventually take you all the way to the center of downtown Springfield, where you will pass by the Symphony Hall & City Hall (to your right), followed by the hotels Sheraton & Marriot. There are underpasses along the way through which you can get to West Columbus Avenue. Curiously, the street signs are absent at these traffic-lighted intersections. I never noticed this until I attempted to photograph the street signs (for visual reference) for this post. Suffice to say, if you come to a traffic-lighted, four-way intersection while travelling up East Columbus Avenue, turning left will take you under the highway and then to West Columbus Avenue. Turning right will take you to Main Street.

Looking south toward the used car lots that line East Columbus Avenue in the South End.

Looking north toward Lombard Street.

The church at Howard Street.


And below is a video I did to accompany the photos.

NOTE: The above video includes a look at the burned down "Loui's Auto Body". HERE IS A LINK to a video I made a few months back of Loui's.

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