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The Heritage Society in association with Houston Arts and Media knows why 610 can still feel like a war zone nearly 90 years after it was first proposed.

Introduced as a concept in the 1930s, the “defense loop,” as it was originally known, was initially built to protect Houston’s ship channel and industry during WWII, and driving anywhere near the 38-mile mega structure can still feel like a battle today.

After some protests by Bellaire residents and last-minute rerouting thanks to a few politically-related moves, its circular shape started taking place during the 50’s, and the entire structure was complete by 1975, “giving die-hard inner-loopers a reason for being.”

If you’re not familiar with the caste-like system that is Houston society, being from “inside the Loop” is a big deal, i.e. expensive, exclusive, and a little livelier than the sprawling suburbs.

Screen shot of Google Maps
Screen shot of Google Maps

See for yourself what makes the Loop so great in the footage of a drive around the entire thing:

38 minutes has to be a record.

Love it or hate it, the Loop is here to stay.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Quintessential Houston! Don’t ever change.

Chana Elgin About the author: