By William Axford and J.R. Gonzales Updated 5:34 pm CDT, Friday, July 12, 2019 Image 1 of / 59 Caption Close Image 1 of 59 Then and now: Photos show Houston streets through the years 1 / 59 Back to Gallery It may be hard to believe today, but there was a time when Houston wasn’t surrounded by concentric circles of freeways. To get around decades ago, Houstonians followed a network of roads extending out of the city center. Where the road took you largely depended on what it was named: Katy Road, Hempstead Road, West Montgomery, Old Galveston Road, Humble Road, Almeda Road and Richmond, to name a few. ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: In 1959, Harris County’s ‘Dead Man’s Crossing’ claimed another life These were the days long before anyone knew what a Beltway was. In these photos of Houston streets from decades ago, you’ll see an old shopping center here, multiple storefronts there and a maybe a derelict house or two. Many of these buildings are now long gone, swept away under what some consider progress in the Bayou City. Check out these old photos of Houston roads and see how they look today. Do you see an improvement in these new photos? STAY INFORMED: Text CHRON to 77453 to get breaking news alerts by text | Sign up to receive breaking news alerts delivered to your email here.