The indispensable LIFE image archive has an entire catalog of photos titled "Bronx Slums" which were taken in 1952 and 1953 (though the words "Bronx Slums" have been spotted in print for decades before and decades after that).

A few years ago the Village Voice took a look at the South Bronx area (known as America's worst slum), recalling: "Robert Moses slammed his fist into the neighborhood in the 1940s and 1950s, 'clearing the slums,' stacking the displaced in spiritless public housing towers, and sealing them behind a rampart of expressways: the Bruckner to the east and the Major Deegan to the south and west." And that's what's happening in the photos above.

As residents fled the area, so did blue-collar jobs, which caused poverty and crime to take over. The paper noted at the time, "Mott Haven became the South Bronx of infamy, and remained so until the drug and gang wars finally began to burn out in the early 1990s."