S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Long Island Motor Parkway History Page keywords = Long Island Motor Parkway Vanderbilt toll road limited access highway Horace Harding boulevard automotive auto car truck car history Dudgeon Miller

Updated:   01 Aug 2015; 13:00  ET
[Page created 30 Apr 2000; converted 01 Aug 2015;

[Missing images restored 25-26 Jul 2008]
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
Update info on the top on ALL pages for your convenience.

URL:  http://sbiii.com/_limphist.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/limphist.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

[Please note that these pages could also have been accessed as URL http://berliner-ultrasonics.home.att.net/lim*.html,
a "vanity" URL (q.v.) that did not require the tilde (~), as was true of ALL of my old pages.}

S. Berliner, III's


Long Island Motor Parkway History Page

{and these are only thumbnails, at that!


(a.k.a. Vanderbilt Motor Parkway)


Motor Parkway Logo

- - - * - - -

Vanderbilt Cup Race Disclaimer.

{moved here from LIMP History page 2 on 01 Aug 2015]

Although the Vanderbilt Cup races are of great interest to any Long Island Motor Parkway aficionado, they are NOT the provenance of this site, except when the races were run on or across the LIMP.  However, a separate LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race Page (et seq.) has been created to cover the races as they related to the Motor Parkway (and material formerly here has been moved to that page).

Links will be provided to sites that do cover these extraordinary races in more depth, IF those so interested will kindly forward the URLs to me.

Because the Main Page overloaded, please visit Continuation Pages 1A, et seq.


note-rt.gif  The index on this page has been truncated (links removed) to save page space; see the LIMP Index on the page preceding the main LIMP page.

On this LIMP History Page:

  HISTORY OF THE LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY - continued, with more photographs.

On the LIMP History Page 0:

  HISTORY OF THE LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY - continued, with more photographs, and
  List of Toll Lodges and
  List of Toll Gates

On the LIMP History Page 1a:

        - continued, with more photographs.
  Who's Who (or Was) (moved from LIMP History Page 3 on 14 Jan 2002).

On the LIMP History Page 2:

  HISTORY OF THE LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY - continued, with more photographs.
  The General Manager's House.
  Sempre Vivolo (Brentwood Toll Lodge).

On the LIMP History Page 3@:

  Motor Parkway Historical Miscellany
  Motor Parkway Auto Tags/Plates

On the LIMP History Page 4:

  Oldest Parkway.
  Nassau County Police Photos (moved from page 2 on 21 Nov 2003).
  LIMPuzzle.   Widening the Parkway.

On the main LIMP page:

      (continued hereon and on

LIMP Lodges Page:

  LIMP Toll Lodges
     : (or booths, kiosks, gates, or accesses) with
  List of LIMP Toll Lodges and
  List of LIMP Toll Gates.
  List of LIMP Accesses.

On Continuation Page 0:

  LIMP POSTS (and reinforced concrete).

On Continuation Page 1A:

  LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY at confluence of Marcus/Lakeville/NSParkway.

On Continuation Page 2:

  More on the Long Island Motor Parkway.
  Views of the Long Island Motor Parkway Today.
  I. U. Willets Road Fragment.
  Roslyn Road Fragment.
  Bridge at Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
  Horace Harding (of Boulevard fame).
  Open LIMP Matters - Questions and Speculations.

On Continuation Page 3:

  Crossings from Roslyn Road to the Maxess Road Bridge.

On Continuation Page 4:

  Old Courthouse Road Bridge, New Hyde Park.
  Garden City Toll Lodge.
  Crossings Continued - Maxess/Duryea Road Bridge.
  More on Duryea Road Crossing.

On Continuation Page 5:

     and now continued on the LIMP Apocrypha Page.

On Continuation Page 6:

.   Dubious Artifact at NSP/NHP Road.
  Queens Vignettes.

On Continuation Page 7:


On Continuation Page 8:

  North Hills.
  Mineola - Carle Place.

Suffolk Page:

  Eastern Terminus (Lake Ronkonkoma).

On the LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race page:

  (unindexed to date - please scroll away)

On the LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race continuation page 1:

  1909 LIRR Special VC Timetable.
  Other Vanderbilt Cup Maps. (moved from the main LIMP Vanderbilt Cup page on 18 Dec 2002)
  1908 Vanderbilt Cup Plaque Returns to Long Island
    (balance unindexed to date - please scroll away)

This is yet another page (new 30 Apr 2000) to cover additional information and photographs of this interesting old highway; see also my Automotive, Chrysler, Dudgeon (really!), Mercedes, and SS and JAGUAR car pages and other related pages.

There is also a lot of automotive material on my ORDNANCE and HISTORY pages.

Also, if you like automotive history, see the links on the Automotive page.

RoW = Right-of-Way.

William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.
(Courtesy of Northport Public Library)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image.]

William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.*
"Willie K."

[* - An eBay auction in Feb 2002, Item # 1078357250, had a book, "THROUGH ITALY SICILY TUNISIA AND ALGERIA BY MOTOR" {on the cover} and "A TRIP THROUGH ITALY, SICILY, TUNISIA, ALGERIA AND SOUTHERN FRANCE - BY W. K. VANDERBILT, JR. - NEW YORK - PRIVATELY PRINTED - 1918" {on the title page}; note the usage of "Jr." instead of "II".  Panelist Al Vellocci, who volunteers at the Vanderbilt Museum, checked this matter for me and advises that Willie was known as WKV, "Jr." until his father died (1920); Willie then became WKV, "II".  When Willie's son was born, (grandfather still alive at the time), the son was WKV, "III" but the son died before Willie and Willie was known as "II" until he, himself, died.  Much as I like "II" and "III", I will stick with "Jr." since that is both how I have revised this site and what he was known as during the origin of the Parkway.]

(continued from main LIMP page "History").

Recapping the beginnings, the Long Island Motor Parkway was the brainchild of William K(issam). Vanderbilt, Jr. (later "II").  Started in 1908, it originally ran from Vanderbilt's Lake Success home, "Deepdale", on Lakeville Road, out along the Island, south of Vanderbilt's other estate in Centerport, the "Eagle's Nest" (today's Vanderbilt Museum), to Lake Ronkonkoma, which it reached in 1911.  It as extended a short ditance westward in 1912 to Hillside Avenue/Rocky Hill Road (Sprigfield Boulevard) in Flushing.  A short northward extension was added in 1926 from Hauppage to Commack, convenient to the "Eagle's Nest".  In 1928, the Parkway was then extended westward to the Kissena Corridor in Queens County, convenient to the New York (Manhattan) ferries and the Queensborough (59th Street) Bridge, which had opened in 1909, for a total distance of some 48 miles.

Here's the simple overview map of the route of the Long Island Motor Parkway presented earlier:

LIMP Overview Map
(04 Jun 2002 map, with more accurate dating 20 Dec 2005;
by and © 2002, 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

A Motor Parkway Panel
was convened to
    keep the Long Island Motor Parkway alive in Situ and in Minds and Museums.

  note-rt - effective 16 Feb 2011, the Motor Parkway Panel was disbanded and all activities thereof assumed by the
Long Island Motor Parkway Preservation Society

The Vanderbilt Cup returned to Long Island!; NEWSDAY for 11 Jun 2002 (page B9) had an article on a new exhibit at the Museums at Stony Brook (the Carriage House) about sports on LI.  A prized display was the original Vanderbilt Cup, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution (it's normally on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan).

{material following moved from the main LIMP page on 13 Feb 2002.}

Mike Abbey has documented the Cunnningham Park segment in eastern Queens on Jeff Saltzman's page, including photos of remanent posts.

Vince Fitzgerald (see below) reported on a spur at Mitchel Field, while Bill Frohlich told of a spur to Jericho Turnpike at Commack - see LI MOTOR PARKWAY SPURS.

Motor Parkway Panel member Tom Walsh contributed an article on the LIMP for Larry Graff's " your About.com Guide to: Long Island, NY".

Motor Parkway Panel member Steve Anderson was quoted in a NEWSDAY article by Sidney C. Shaer, "Highway Hopes That Faded", on page A20 (Nassau edition) of the Friday, 05 Nov 99, issue, in the "Long Island - Our Future" series, "Predictions from the past that haven't come true ... yet".

Motor Parkway Panel convenor Sam Berliner contributed the cover story on the LIMP (especially as it traversed the narrow central portion of the Town of Oyster Bay - through Central Park/Bethpage) for the Winter 2000 issue FREEHOLDER, "The History Magazine of the Town of Oyster Bay", the publication of the Oyster Bay Historical Society, of which he was then a member.

At the eastern end, on the northwestern shore of Lake Ronkonkoma, Vanderbilt built a grand restaurant in the style of the famous Parisian restaurant of the same name, the "Petit Trianon Restaurant" (in turn based on the "little" Palais at Versailles).  Besides sumptuous repasts, it also offered boating, bathing, picnics, snooker, tennis, and hunting and, in winter, skating, ice-boating, and toboganning.

Let us motor off to the very far end of the Parkway and "do" lunch at le restaurant Petit Trianon; c'est tres joli, ça!  In case you are not sure you wish to patronise Willie's little place on the western shore of Lake Ronkonkoma, here, courtesy of Motor Parkway Panel member Tom Walsh, is an original advertisement:

Petit Trianon Brochure
(Courtesy of Thomas V. Walsh, Esq., Mar 00)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for VERY large image.]

{"Petit Trianon", indeed!  Sorry, it looks like one of the original service plazas
on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, or a glorified Howard Johnson's, to me; all it lacks is
Simple Simon and the Pieman silhouetted on a sign on the roof!}

45 miles at 40MPH with "no police traps, no dust"!

Maximum traffic on the Motor Parkway was reported at 190,000 cars in its peak year; by way of comparison, the Long Island Expressway (the "Big LIE", the World's Longest Parking Lot) already carried 750,000 cars per day in 1987!

{material above moved from the main LIMP page on 13 Feb 2002.}

Leading LIMP historian and Motor Parkway Panel member Robert Miller lectured atthe Northport Public Library on 24 Mar 00.  There was a major exhibit on the LIMP, with many items and images shown.  Among others in the audience were LIMP emphemera collectors Pat and Rob Sisler; Rob endeared himself to us by wearing on a string around his neck an original LIMP toll plate; here is a snapshot of a color xerocopy of that plate:

LIMP Toll Plate #70
(Image of xerocopy courtesy of Northport Public Library)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image.]

Not only did Rob Sisler wear the plate shown, he also provided images of other plates; original plates were also furnished for the Library by the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport:

The prime mover and shaker behind the Motor Parkway was Wlliam K. Vanderbilt, Jr., a noted scorcher of the day; here he is in an old photo, sitting in his Mercedes {?} in what sure looks to be Garden City:

WKVJr in Car
(unprovenanced photo - restored 25 Jul 2008)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image.]

It should be noted that much of the knowledge of the LIMP is courtesy, one way or the other, of the Vanderbilt Museum; the Curator sits in a fine aerie, a former open terrace on the children's wing:

LIMP Curator's Office, VM
(Photo 07 Aug 00 by and © 2000 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

[Since then (Jul 00), Al Velocci, also a LIMP plate collector, and who also contributed to the library display, wrote a lengthy article about them in the Spring 2000 issue of LONG ISLAND FORUM (Friends for Long Island's Heritage), pp. 19-31).]

LIMP Toll Plates  '32 LIMP Toll Plate #439  '34 LIMP Toll Plate #212  '32 LIMP Toll Plate #158
(Image of xerocopy courtesy of Northport Public Library - actual plates from Vanderbilt Museum collection)
[Thumbnail images; click on pictures for larger images.]

Note that 1932 toll plate #158, donated to the Museum by Valerie and Anthony Muzio,belonged to noted financier E. F. Hutton, himself, and was dug up from a scrap heap.

[There are now many other plates/tags pictured on LIMP History Page 3.]

We are deeply indebted to the Northport Public Library for making these exhibit items available to us for reproduction on completion of the exhibit.  It enables us to present a vivid graphical evocation of the Parkway as it was at its inception and in its heyday.

The pictures above and which follow, are digital snapshots of items and images that were on display at the Library, taken under most adverse lighting conditions, in some cases through glass.  It is hoped that more professional direct reproductionscan be made at the Vanderbilt Museum some day; until that might occur, please suspend critical analysis of the photography and immerse yourself in a bygone era.

The concept of the Long Island Motor Parkway was thrashed out at the old Garden City Hotel by William K(issam). Vanderbilt, Jr, and his friends and associates in 1906, after a fatality at his Vanderbilt Cup Race that year.  The races were then run on local roads and spectators crowded the course with reckless disregard for their own safety and that of the hapless drivers, who only had mechanical brakes, and solely on the rear axles at that, and had no place to go but into the onlookers when rounding a curve and finding the crowd in front of them.

Vanderbilt and his côterie hammered out a plan to build a racecourse from central Queens to Riverhead, with huge turning loops at Hicksville and Riverhead.  A holding company set out to aquire a right-of-way but, once word got out that someone was buying up an incredible stretch of land, they soon ran into serious financial restraints; even with all his millions and the money of his backers, Vanderbilt simply could not acquire clear title to a straight right-of-way.  As a result, instead of a 60-mile-long, straight racecourse, what they ended up with was a wildly zig-zag 45-mile private highway running only as far as the western shore of Lake Ronkonkoma.

One of their intentions was also that automobile manufacturers would test their cars on the road.

In one of the most dramatic (and prophetic) early racing pictures of all time, #19 slams around the hotel at Krug's Corner in Mineola in one of the first races (notice how vulnerable the onlookers are to the slightest slip-up on the driver's part or to just plain mechanical failure or mischance):

#19 at Krug's Corner
(unprovenanced photo)

Here is a lovely, bucolic photo (#59868 by Spooner & Wells) of a/the{?} bridge over the Parkway in Plainview, dated May 13, 1910; my guess it is over Round Swamp Road, looking south from the Toll Lodge entry (but printed backwards):

(photo courtesy of the Smithtown Library, Handley Collection - all rights reserved)
[thumbnailed image - click on picture for larger image]

This photo is from the collection of Robert S. Noble, son-in-law of LIMP second-in-command Arthur R(ayner) Pardington, the Pardington Papers, housed in the Richard H. Handley Collection of Long Island Americana in the Smithtown (New York) Library.  Pardington was also head of the Motor Cups Holding Company (a LIMP activity) and later went on to head the first coast-to-coast highway, the Lincoln Highway (today's Route 40).

Pardington, supposedly only a druggist from Smithtown, son of a Minnesota minister, the Rev. Rayner Stevens Pardington, drove some rather fancy cars and hobnobbed with the cream of society; just look at the pallbearers for his funeral (transcribed fairly accurately from a xerocopy of a Smithtown Library transcription, warts and all):

        Pallbearers for the funeral of ARTHUR  R  PARDINGTON on 29 July 1915

        Henry B. Joy             President: Packard Motor Car Co.

        Roy D. Chapin            President: Hudson Motor  Car Co.,

        Henry W. Clark           President: First & Old National Bank

    Carl G. Fisher            President: Prest O Lite Co.

        S. D. Waldon             Director Engineering., Cadillac Motor Car Co.

        Henry Ford               Ford Motor Car Co .

        C. W. Nash               President: General Motor Corp

        Alvan Macauley,          Vice Prr{sic}sident & General Manager, Packard Motor Car Co.

        Henry M. Leland          Adv. Mgr, Cadillac Motor Car Co.

        Hugh Chalmers            President: Chalmers Motor Co.,

        Charles A. Hughes        Secretary, Detroit Atheletic Club

        E. L. Benson             President: Studebaker Motor Co.

        Russell A. A1ger

        A. Y. Gowen              President; Leh1gh Portland Cement Co.,

        F. A. Seiberling         President: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Pardington drove a Chalmers at one point; Chalmers is listed as president of the firm bearing his name, but Henry Ford is just listed as Henry Ford ('nuf said)!

His father, the Rev. R. S. Pardington, later came to New York and served a congregation in Brooklyn.

A few maps of the race area and pre-LIMP era have been moved to the new LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race page.

This is an undated (but clearly prior to 1926 - no western extension) rate card for the Parkway, with a map naming only the Hotel Astor in Manhattan, the Great Neck Toll Lodge, and the Petit Trianon Restaurant.  The rate for a motor car appears to be $1.00 and that for a monthly ticket $15.00 (sorry it turned out so blurry):

Pre-1926 LIMP Rate Card

Here's a postcard view of Robertson driving the Locomobile #16 that won the 24 October 1908 race, at speed on a lightly banked curve, courtesy of Panel Associate Mark Desantis:

Old 16 08 VCup
(image courtesy of M. Desantis - all rights reserved;
low-resolution copy restored 26 Jul 2008)

Note the ubiquitous water pipe that ran alongside the early LIMP to supply water for construction, wetting the roadway, etc.

From the 01 October 1910 (sixth) race, here is parking space ticket No. 1077 for Pratt's Farm at the corner of School Street and Old Country Road in Westbury:

1910 Parking Space Ticket

Material moved to new LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Races page 23 Apr 02.

Toll Lodges

Let's start with this excellent old view (undated) of the Roslyn Road Toll Lodge (still standing):

Roslyn Toll Lodge
(image courtesy of H. Kroplick)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image.]

We have Panel Associate Member Howard Kroplick to thank for this picture.

Deftly changing gears, we came up with a Socony map of the "Long Island Motor Parkway, Mineola, New York:" , featuring the Trianon Beach, "at end of Motor Parkway"; "Showing "ROADS LEADING TO PARKWAY", it starts at the Hillside Ave. Lodge at Rocky Hill Road in today's Bayside in Queens (thus dating it after 1926) and runs through the other ten lodges, ending atRonkonkoma Lodge (Rosevale Avenue) and the Petit Trianon Restaurant* (also called "Inn* on some documents):

  * - described as "'Petit Trianon' Inn and Restaurant" in another brochure (post-Hillside extension).

To rearrange the flow of these pages, the Toll Lodges material has been moved to LIMP History Page 0.

Toll Gates

"Accessibility of Towns by Toll Gates"

(title and list from "LIMP and SUNRISE TRAILS
Main and Secondary Highways" map of 1929
{link to follow}

To rearrange the flow of these pages, the Toll Gates material has been moved to LIMP History Page 0.

The Socony map noted is from 1926 or later (it has the western extension to Hillside); the LIMP brochure's map, although dated 1929, does not and there are some discrepancies in the lists and the names; it and the Long Island part of a Mobil map of the NY metro area from 1935 (Socony - Standard Oil Company of New York - became Socony-Vacuum, Socony-Mobil, and finally just Mobil), is also now on LIMP History Page 0, as is the large (and inaccessible and thus blurred and largely illegible) "Road Map of Long Island with LIMP overlay, the Petit Trianon Restaurant/Inn coverage, a Toll Lodge Daily Record Book, views of LIMP rubber stamps, four tickets signed by A. J. Kienzle, General Manager, and a rubber stamp reproduction of a LIMP plate.

Who's Who on the Motor Parkway

(or Who Was Who) - (Moved to LIMP History Page 1 on 14 Jan 2002)


(Moved to LIMP History Page 2 08 Aug 2000.)

This page OVERLOADED yet again(!),
necessitating creation of yet another LIMP HISTORY Continuation Page (0)!

Because the Main Page overloaded, please visit Continuation Pages 0, et seq.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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