Broadway began as a Native American path and trade route along the highest land on Manhattan Island. The road was expanded when the Dutch colonized the area. It was one of the first streets to have electric street lights.
Boston Post Road (04:55)
The Boston Post Road was a mail route from Boston to New York. Benjamin Franklin was an early post master for the road and helped make it more efficient. It was an important way to send messages during the Revolutionary War.
St. Charles Avenue (04:17)
A streetcar system was built to take residents from newly built suburbs into downtown New Orleans. The streetcars and trams ran along St. Charles Avenue. The system cut down on the problems caused by New Orleans' rapid growth.
National Road (05:03)
The National Road from Maryland to Illinois was the first road built using federal money. It became the first toll road after the federal government pulled out of the project. It was a common route for families migrating west.
Eastern Parkway (04:18)
Eastern Parkway was the first road built to connect parks in New York City. Frederick Law Olmstead designed the road, which branches off Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The street was lined with trees to add more plant life to the city.
Woodward Avenue (06:30)
Woodward Avenue was the main road through Detroit with it was first founded. The growing automobile industry led to the road being paved and transformed it into the first highway.
Lincoln Highway (06:01)
Carl Fisher was a car salesman and founder of the Indianapolis 500. He had the idea to build a coast-to-coast highway, which many thought was impossible. Many people helped fund the road because it would improve their businesses.
Greenwood Avenue (06:25)
Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa was known as "black Wall Street." It was a thriving financial center until a white mob burnt it down in 1921. The community began to rebuild but a new interstate was built through it.
Wilshire Boulevard (04:44)
Wilshire Boulevard was the home of the first suburban shopping center. A dirt road in Los Angeles was transformed to target car owners from the suburbs.
Kalamazoo Mall (05:30)
Kalamazoo transformed a downtown street to stop businesses from moving out of downtown and into suburban shopping malls. The area was designed by Victor Gruen, who was considered the father of the shopping mall.
Credits: 10 Streets that Changed America (00:30)
Credits: 10 Streets that Changed America
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