S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com S. Berliner, III's Long Island Motor Parkway Page
Updated:   23 May 2016: 23:00  ET
[Page converted 10 Mar 2010*;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
Update info on the top on ALL pages for your convenience.

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

S. Berliner, III's


Long Island Motor Parkway Page


a.k.a. Vanderbilt Motor Parkway@

(and related matters)

Motor Parkway Panel Logo [If my discs weren't floppy, my photos wouldn't be LIMP!]

{LIMP does NOT refer to rigidity!}

note-rt * - something happened to this page when it was converted on 10 Mar 2010;
most of the content disappeared.  It has been reconstructed (06 Dec 2010) from an archived copy

Please visit Continuation Pages as shown below and
in more detail on the LIMP Index Page.

[A new "bugaboo" has reared its ugly head - complexity of organization - see COMPLEXITY on my main index page.]

[Also - there is a serious image access problem on my site.]

Motoring on the Early Motor Parkway
  Motoring on the Early Motor Parkway
[bridge over Westbury Avenue - photo provenance unknown]
{NOT from the Whitten Collection of the Garden City Public Library}

LIMP NEWS (Current Events) is now on the host's Continuation Page 0!

This page had overloaded, please visit Continuation Pages as shown below and
in more detail on the LIMP Index Page.

Here's a very simple overview map of the route of the Long Island Motor Parkway:

LIMP Overview Map
(04 Jun 02 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   rev (02 Jun 2015)

If you transferred here from the MPP page, please see the LIMP index or use the tour arrows at the bottom of this and all related pages.

For a tour guide to the Parkway, see the host's LIMP Tour Page.

Vanderbilt Cup Disclaimer - see History Page 2.

Events of interest to LIMP afficionadoes were posted on the Motor Parkway Panel page {to be redirected}.   rev (19 Feb 2011)


The index on this page has been truncated to save page space; see the LIMP Index on the preceding page, which now includes a Geographical Index and LIMP Links.

On this Page:

        Who was George Vanderbilt?
        now continued on the LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY HISTORY page 0,
        on the LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY HISTORY page 1a, and
        on the LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY HISTORY page 2, et seq.

LIMP Lodges Page:

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

Continuation Page 0:

    LIMP POSTS (and reinforced concrete).
    LIMP NEWS (and Current Events).

Continuation Page 1A:

    LIMP at confluence of Marcus/Lakeville/NSParkway.

Continuation Page 2:

    More on the LIMP.
    Views of the LIMP 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.

Continuation Page 3:

    Crossings from Roslyn Road to the Maxess Road Bridge.

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.

Continuation Page 5:

       continued on the LIMP Apocrypha Page.

Continuation Page 6:

    Dubious Artifact at NSP/NHP Road.
    Queens Vignettes.

Continuation Page 7:

    ROUTE 110 SAND PITS AREA Update.

Continuation Page 8:

    North Hills.
    Mineola - Carle Place.

Continuation Page 9:

    LIMP at Marcus/Lakeville/NSParkway, continued,
      with Great Neck Toll Lodge.

Western Nassau (County) Page.
Western Nassau (County) Continuation Page 1.
Central Nassau (County) Page.
Central Nassau (County) Continuation Page 1.
Eastern Nassau (County) Page.

{etc. - see Index page}

LIMP History Page 0:

        - continued, with more photographs, and
    List of Toll Lodges and
    List of Toll Gates.

LIMP History Page 1:

        - continued, with more photographs.
    Who's Who (or Was).

LIMP History Page 3:

        - continued, with more photographs.
    The General Manager's House.
    Sempre Vivolo (Brentwood Toll Lodge)     Nassau County Police Photos.

{etc. - see Index page}


LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race page:

    (unindexed to date - please scroll away)

The LIMP Tour Page:

The maps included with the 2005 Nassau County Nomination Form page, linked therein, as well as a full set of 1942-43 Topographic Quadrangle maps, are all posted directly on the LIMP Maps Continuation Page 1: new.gif (23 May 2016)

    2005 LIMP Nomination Maps.
    '42-'43 LIMP Topo Maps.

RoW = Right-of-Way.


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

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

Long Island buffs may wish to look at my Long Island page, et seq.


The Long Island Motor Parkway may well be one of the world's first roads that could be described as a "high-speed, limited-access, reinforced-concrete, landscaped parkway"; it is certainly the first in the United States.

There are a number of chronological discrepancies on these pages; they will be corrected as time allows.

Approximate Route of the Long Island Motor Parkway -  ________
Very Preliminary Map
Scale - Flushing (Hillside Avenue#) to Ronkonkoma = 48 road miles
(Long Island Rail Road lines are shown for reference)
{image restored 02 Jun 2015}
[Thumbnail images; click on pictures for large images.]

The above map has been criticized for being TOO approximate; here's a 1927 map
on which all I have done is to add a green highlight between the lines (________),
add some BLUE to Little Neck and Manhasset Bays and Lakes Success and Ronkonkoma,
and approximate the actual final western terminus which did NOT end at Black Stump Road
(73rd Avenue, as shown) but at Nassau Boulevard (later Horace Harding Boulevard - today's
Long Island Expressway), [which I have extended westward (HHB? - _ _ _ _ ) from what was shown on the old map]
at 193rd Street [WEST (left) and EAST (right)]:

27 LIMP Map W

27 LIMP Map E
(Altered from 1927 NY NEWS Map)
{images restored 02 Jun 2015}
[Thumbnail images; click on pictures for large images.]

These are, however, wrong, WRONG, WRONG!  The LIMP RoW NEVER extended NW beyond HHB!   added (02 Jun 2015)

You'll note that the toll lodges are shown on the original map.

My goal, eventually, is to have a much more accurate and detailed map with all streets and all crossings and alignments shown.

    In the interim, see the maps on the LIMP Maps page.

Note also, per my 1994 Hagstrom's Nassau County Atlas, pages 3 and 11, that the boundaries between Manhasset Hills (page 3, H18) and Williston Park and East Williston (page 11, J18), on the south, and Searingtown (H/J17) on the north ARE, in fact, the old RoW of the LIMP!

Roger Cooper reminded me (06 Nov 99) of Senator Camaerer Park, which abuts the LIMP, still preserved under the name of Highway Drive, in Albertson.  I drove around that familiar area (I used to live nearby in Mineola in the mid-'60s) and have since wandered afoot with the trusty digital to document the area between the Queens-Nassau county line and Roslyn Road.

WARNING!  Historians should note that the right-of-way of the Motor Parkway and that of Alexander T. Stewart's Central Railroad of Long Island, now the LIRR's Central Branch, paralleled each other in several areas and should NOT be casually confused.  The LIMP RoW is the one under the LIPA (ex-LILCO) lines in Nassau County and far western Suffolk County
(at least as far east as the Maxess Road area or further).  Even so, there are areas where the LIPA lines and the LIMP RoW do NOT coincide, especially around the old Sperry plant in Lake Success, in Bethpage where the LIPA lines follow the old Central line and in the center of Bethpage State Park, where the LIPA lines veer E and the LIMP RoW goes N, at the LIPA line branching in the 110/Ruland/Maxess area, along Bagatelle Road south of the LIE, etc.

Here's a map of the area where the LIMP and the predecessor road of the LIRR's Central Branch, the Central RR of LI, were coincident or nearly so, courtesy of Vince Fitzgerald, showing the two RoWs (RsoW?):

Central RR vs. LIMP RoW
(Click on the thumbnail to download a 251Kb image.

For a better Nassau-Suffolk map (1928), see the LIMP Maps Page (in work).

LI Motor Parkway ca. 1908
(The provenance of this image has been lost; it was
apparently courtesy of the Garden City Toll Lodge Museum)

The Long Island Motor Parkway ca. 1908,
probably well east of the Hempstead Plains;
Notice how incredibly barren the area was
as it was on the frontispiece (above), as well.

A proposal to Nassau County, filed 15 Apr 2005, for conservation and restoration of the LIMP RoW, may be found at http://sbiii.com/limpnass/limpncpk.html.

NEWSDAY for 11 Jun 2002 (page B9) had an article on an 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).

GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE - to the best of my recollection, my fascination with the Long Island Motor Parkway began (again?) when noted historian Bob Miller, who I've known since ca. 1960, inveigled me into attending one of his great illustrated lectures, in this particular case about some old road called the Motor Parkway.  One slide that sticks in my mind even today (20 Dec 2010) was of the roof of one of the toll lodges (one of the Brentwood lodges?), lying on the ground at the side of the road (a SW corner, as I recall).  So, perhaps we can blame all this on Bob.   new (20 Dec 2010)


@ - A Note on NOMENCLATURE - The official name of this pioneer highway was the



the surviving active easternmost 13-mile right-of-way in Suffolk County,
County Route 67, is now used as public roads named variously
"Motor Parkway", "Vanderbilt Parkway", and "Vanderbilt Motor Parkway".

The Long Island Motor Parkway was the brainchild of William K(issam). Vanderbilt, Jr. ( a.k.a. "II").  It ran from the Kissena Corridor# in Queens County, convenient to the New York (Manhattan) ferries and the Queensborough (59th Street) Bridge, which had opened in 1909, and to Vanderbilt's Lake Success home, "Deepdale", out along the Island, south of Vanderbilt's other estate in Centerport, the "Eagle's Nest" (today's Vanderbilt Museum), to Lake Ronkonkoma, a whopping distance of some 48 miles.

# - some accounts say it started in Flushing (at the Hillside Avenue/Rocky Hill Road Toll Lodge) but that was later, in 1928; it started at Lakeville Road in Great Neck as the western terminus in 1910 (43 miles to Ronkonkoma) {at the northwestern corner of the Sperry site - northeastern corner of Marcus and Lakeville Road}, with an extension west to Rocky Hill Road (Springfield Boulevard) in 1911; the section to Kissena Corridor was added later - at Nassau Boulevard (what is now Horace Harding Boulevard - the south service road of the L. I. Expressway) and 195th Street*.  A two-mile feeder road (now Harned Road) north to Jericho Turnpike [Rte.25] in Commack was also added in 1928 (opened 01 Jul) to ease access to the Commack area (and, not incidentally, to WKV's Eagles Nest in Centerport).

* - The RoW ran (runs) N-S between 199th Street and Cross Island (Francis Lewis) Boulevard from Union Turnpike to HHB; the north end bent NW and ended at 195th Street but I believe there was an apron or entry ramp extending as far west as 193rd Street.

Bob Miller was misquoted in the New York TIMES (26 Apr 1998) as saying it started at Springfield Boulevard, at the edge of today's Alley Pond Park, and was extended west and north in the 1920s (to Horace Harding Boulevard and 199th St.).

Michael Abbey wrote (11 Feb 1999) "The part of the LIMP in Great Neck ran through the Phipps Estate, which is now Great Neck South Middle and High School.  In fact, they recently tore down a toll house that was just south of the Great Neck South Middle School property (near Lakeville Road).  This would be almost adjacent to Lake Road and Lakeville Road.  I believe the school still uses part of the roadway as a service path to it's athletic fields.  The old LIMP continues East South East, where it runs into the Northern State Parkway.  There used to be a bridge over the parkway there, but when they expanded to three lanes in each direction many years ago, they tore it down.  At that point it crosses over to New Hyde Park road, and a few hundred feet to the East, the old bridge that crosses over the LIMP can be found."  This is the bridge in NHP that I mention and that Mike has photographed on his website.  In fact, the toll lodge is still there, recognizably buried in the back of a mini-mansion at 351 Lakeville Road and, yes, the RoW is still the school's service path.

Tom Walsh added (13 Feb 1999), "A Lake Success history book led me to the conclusion that the road on the southern end of the property is indeed Motor Parkway.  The toll house may not have been demolished, but may have been altered beyond recognition.  My local research shows that the road (heading west from the school property) took an abrupt turn south on the west side of Lakeville Road.  This was so that it could then bend back westerly and pass Deepdale (Willie the builder's mansion) to its south." Tom went on, "Look at the driveways on the property of the temple on Lakeville Road, just across from the school.  I suspect this is a remnant reflecting that southerly turn."

Fred Hadley called all this {#} to a screeching halt (16 Oct 1999), effectively demolishing my theory about the route near the city line with this definitive description:  "It actually followed the path of today's 74th Avenue which deadends at the employee parking lot of Hillside Medical Center.  It then ran along the east fence of the Glen Oaks Golf Course (today's North Shore Towers course).  The LIMP crossed the Northern State Parkway ¼-mile west of the Lakeville Road overpass."  So it came no closer than ¼-mile from my theoretical route by Lakeville and Union Turnpike.  Fred added, "Of course Willie K. owned the land from Union Turnpike to the LIE and from Little Neck Parkway so it was easy to obtain the right of way from himself!" [Edited slightly.]

Sylvia Adcock*, in NEWSDAY's "Long Island: Our Story" historical sketches, wrote that it was, "the nation's first road designed exclusively for automobiles - - - The reinforced concrete road also was the first highway to use bridges and overpasses to eliminate intersections.  Called 'Long Island's Appian Way' in promotional material, it was a road ahead of its time."

LI Motor Parkway
Long Island Studies Institute, Nassau County Museum
A scene from the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race on a part of the then-abuilding Long Island Motor Parkway.

The LI Motor Parkway had gotten its impetus when a spectator at the third Vanderbilt Cup race (in 1906) was killed by a race car which slammed into the crowd; Vanderbilt was deeply ashamed, even though unruly spectators crowded up against, and onto, the course (as can be clearly seen in contemporary photos), and he and his sportsman friends, including Ralph Peters, President of the LIRR, Harry Payne Whitney, August Belmont, President of the IRT, Frederick Bourne, President of the Singer Sewing Machine Co., and John Jacob Astor, meeting at the elegant, old Garden City Hotel, decided build a private road for auto racing, which they started planning in 1906.  One of their first ideas was to build a 35-mile long private racing road from Floral Park to Riverhead, with high-speed turning loops at Hicksville and Riverhead.  Actual construction, of the 11 miles between Garden City and Bethpage, started with 2,000 men on 06 Jun 1907 (Adcock puts it in 1908) in a barren field west of Central Park (Bethpage) just off Jerusalem Avenue in what later became Levittown.

The 16'-wide road (later widened to 22') was opened virtually its full length in 1911.  Vanderbilt Cup races had been run on that route in 1908, 1909, and 1910 (an ALCO* won in 1909 and 1910) and new models of autos were tested (for a healthy fee, of course) on the road.  Tolls were originally $2.00, then, briefly, $1.50, and mostly $1.00, until they were dropped to 40˘ in 1935 after Robert Moses opened his Northern State Parkway, part of his great parkway system begun in 1929, opened in 1933.  The original plan to run on out to the Suffolk County seat in Riverhead, an additional 23 miles, was shelved when the land required could not be acquired.

* - Henry Fortune ("Harry") Grant, with mechanic Frank H. Lee, in the "Bęte Noire" (Black Beast)*, won the 5th Cup race on 30 Oct 1909 at 62.81mph and the 6th on 01 Oct 1910 at 65.18mph.

Those three Vanderbilt Cup races were run, both on the incomplete road and the nearly-finished road, but, when four spectators were killed and over twenty injured in 1910, racers refused to use the course.

That refusal, auto manufacturers moving to the Detroit area and testing their cars out in the mid-West, and the competition of the Moses parkway, were its death knell and the Motor Parkway finally closed on Easter Sunday (17 Apr) of 1938.  In lieu of payment of back taxes amounting to some $80,000 to $90,000, the right-of-way was deeded to the counties through which it passed in 1938.  Most of the right-of-way in Queens County is now a bicycle and hiking path, while that in Nassau County and in western Suffolk County was (and is) used for a high-tension line r-o-w by LILCO - the Long Island Lighting Company (now LIPA - the LI Power Authority).

The Long Island Motor Parkway may or may not have been the world's first limited-access auto parkway; this discussion has been moved to LIMP History page 4 and expanded there.

The Motor Parkway was also noted for its twelve unique little toll houses, termed "toll lodges", which were two-story architectural gems and included rather nice living quarters with two bedrooms for the toll takers and their families.  The original toll house from the Garden City (Clinton Street/Glen Cove Road/Guinea Woods Road) entry is preserved in Garden City (on Seventh Street, across from the AAA/ACNY office) as the headquarters of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce.  It was moved to its present location in March, 1989, and was designed by John Russell Pope, who also designed Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History, Baltimore's Museum of Art, and Washington's National Gallery, National Archives, and Constitution Hall (DAR).  The twelve Toll Lodges were:

    Hillside Avenue
    Great Neck (at Lake Success),
    Jericho {Turn}Pike,
    Garden City,
    Meadow Brook,
    Deer Park,
    Brentwood, and

Great, except for one little detail; it's wrong!  There's so much more to this lodge question that I moved it to a new LIMP Lodges (or booths, kiosks, gates, or accesses) page on 22 Oct 2004.

For more on John Russell Pope, see LIMP page 12.

The parkway had a unique guard rail system, with four-sided concrete posts which held two (or more) strands of twisted iron ribbon (some of which are still in place at Garden City and elsewhere - see below and the LIMP Continuation page).  There were also posts with large (~2" x ~4") rectangular openings, which must have been for wood rails; these are visible in Queens (see Jeff Saltzman's photos linked below) and in Nassau and Suffolk (see my continuation pages).

{material which followed has been moved from this main LIMP page on 13 Feb 2002.}

See also a Motor Parkway-Clinton Street reminiscence by the late LI aviation pioneer, George Dade (see my AVIATION page).  George Dade's father and uncle, and later George and his brother, owned the northwest corner of Clinton Street and Old Country Road, diagonally across from Curtiss/Roosevelt Field; the Motor Parkway formed the western boundary of their property (coincidentally, I worked in the Dade office building there ca. 1957 and many years later showed George a photo of me in his basement - naturally, there is a shopping center there, now) - moved to Page 5.   rev (27 Jul 2014)

LIMP History continues on the LONG ISLAND MOTOR PARKWAY HISTORY (next) page.


    {Timeline moved to page 0}


    {Links moved to page 0}


    {Moved to Page 4)

Panelists Sue and Rob Friedman run a site about the Bronx's old "Freedomland".

I hope to have more photos and better maps and a walkabout guide, as well.  There is no map (yet) on Mike Natale's fascinating "The Toll Road Map Master List" site.


LIMP Bibliography moved to Continuation Page 1A.

LIMP NEWS (Current Events) is now on the host's Continuation Page 0!

1936 George Vanderbilt Cup - material moved to LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup page 23 Apr 2002.

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in more detail on the LIMP Index Page.

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


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