The 610 loop highway encircles the center of the city of Houston, hemming in Pleasantville’s eastern edge. The completion of the local portion in 1974 was a watershed event in the transformation of the neighborhood from a sparsely populated prairie to an industrial sacrifice zone.
With the construction of Highway 610, Pleasantville was nearly surrounded by heavy industry and infrastructure. In their history of the neighborhood, community leaders Talmadge and Geneva Sharp reflect on this period, writing: “With increased traffic came industry. Budweiser built a brewery just to the north. Two chemical storage plants emerged just a stone’s throw away to the west. Slowly, Pleasantville was encircled with chemical plants, warehouses, and other businesses” (36).