Feb 03 2020

Mystery Foto #5 Solved: The Motor Parkway West of Merrick Avenue Under Construction in 1908

The Garden City Archives challenged you to identify this weekend's Super Bowl Mystery Foto.

Mystery Foto questions

  • Identify the location of the Mystery Foto and orientation of the photographer. Provide a rationale.

​View looking east towards the Ladenburg Estate "The Oasis" in the Salisbury section of the Hempstead Plains. The ever-present Ladenburg windmill can be seen in the background. The workers on the right may be starting the construction of the Meadow Brook Lodge.

  • Identify the road in the Mystery Foto including its original name.

​Merrick Avenue/Whaleneck Avenue. 

  • What years were the Vanderbilt Cup Races run on this section of the course?

​1908, 1909 and 1910.

Comments (10)

Congrats to Greg O., Michael LaBarbera, Art Kleiner, Steve Lucas, Tim Ivers, Frank Femenias, Brian McCarthy and Frank Mendyk for identifying the location of the Mystery Foto. Kudos to Brian McCarthy for submitting captions on the Mystery Foto.


Howard Kroplick


Submitted by Brian McCarthy

Similar Views

August 20, 1908

September 1908

September 1908

October 30, 1909


Jan 31 2020 Greg O. 7:23 AM

Identify the location of the Mystery Foto and orientation of the photographer. Provide a rationale.
-Seeing the Ladenburg windmill and tree line is like recognizing a city skyline far off in the distance. We’re looking East at the estate, standing almost about where the Meadow Brook lodge will be. This is a great photo!

Identify the road in the Mystery Foto including its original name.
Merrick Ave (Whaleneck Ave)

What years were the Vanderbilt Cup Races run on this section of the course?
-1908, 1909, 1910

Jan 31 2020 Michael LaBarbera 8:26 AM

Good one here - they’re waiting for Micro Center to open for the big computer sale !! Looks like we are facing east from the west side of Merrick Avenue (Whaleneck Ave) and they are getting ready to build the bridge and toll lodge from that side of Merrick Avenue. The Ladenburg property windmill in the distance gives it away but its fantastic to see the actual ground breaking before anything really gets done.  The races were 1908 and 1910 there.

Jan 31 2020 Art Kleiner 7:00 PM

Looking east towards the Salisbury section of Westbury/East Meadow.  The Ladenburg estate is in the distance, with its windmill. 
Road would be Merrick Ave., named Whaleneck Ave. at the time.
Vanderbilt Cup Races of 1908-1910.

image image image
Feb 01 2020 Steve Lucas 5:20 PM

Judging by what appears to be the Ladenburg windmill in the distance, I think we’re looking east with Merrick Avenue (Whale Neck Avenue) in the foreground. Could the workers be preparing the site for the Meadowbrook Lodge? The 1908, 1909, and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races ran through this section.

Feb 02 2020 Tim Ivers 10:15 AM

Looking East from the west side of Merrick Avenue (formerly Whaleneck Road) in eastern Garden City and towards present day Eisenhower Park.  In the distance is Mrs. Ladenburg’s windmill and tree lined estate.  The 1908, 09 and 10 races ran through here.

Feb 02 2020 Al Prete 12:58 PM

I have no clue. Is that the cupola of the Garden City Hotel in the center left?

Feb 02 2020 S. Berliner, III 2:53 PM

The house and mill tower in the distance are dead give-aways to the “van Somebody”‘s farm-cum-estate in Roslyn - further deponent sayeth not (not without cheating), although a wild guess would put it at Guinea Woods Road looking west.  This should prove verrrrry interesting.  Sam, III

Feb 03 2020 frank femenias 1:51 AM

The tree-filled oasis of the Ladenburg property with windmill in Salisbury, once home to young Eleanor Roosevelt gave this mystery away. Ladenburg Drive, winding through the oasis still exists today. Motor Parkway road crew had just begun clearing the way for construction of the Meadow Brook lodge (1908-1954) in East Garden City/Salisbury. Merrick Av (Whaleneck Rd/Post Rd) with electric poles can be seen passing across the center of photo. A bridge will soon be built for the parkway to pass over it. The open field on opposite side of Merrick Av is location of today’s Eisenhower Park’s (Salisbury Links) golf course. This location was also the starting point of the wider 22 ft LIMP that stretched to the Bethpage lodge (8.7 mi). The remaining parkway was built 16 ft wide, and later expanded as well. Photographer was looking east sometime in 1908. VCR races that started/passed through here were 1908-10. This 112 year old photo is in excellent condition of superb quality. Thank you GC Archives for sharing these gems.

Map link below  


Feb 03 2020 Brian D McCarthy 4:29 PM

*Location & Orientation:  East Meadow, NY, viewing northeast. Ladenburg Estate in the distance. The LIMP is visible just west of the future Meadowbrook Pkwy Bridge

*Visible road with photographers Buick:  Merrick Ave aka Whaleneck Rd.

*VC races here:  1908, 1909 & 1910.

Feb 03 2020 Frank Mendyk 7:21 PM

Salisbury Plains ( now Eisenhower Park), looking northeast across Merrick Ave at the
Ladenburg estate ,farm and windmill.
Vanderbilt cup races 1908,1909, and 1910

Feb 04 2020 Al Velocci 12:15 AM

Hey, no one mentioned the ever present photographers car.

Feb 04 2020 frank femenias 11:23 AM

Great “similar views”. Admiring the 22ft roadway being carved out through Eisenhower Park’s Red golf course (Aug 1908)! Art, informative view in the Oasis aerial! It’s always hidden in the forest of trees and can never tell what’s happening inside. Also never knew the racetrack was part of the estate. Always learning something new here. Great website.

Feb 04 2020 S. Nerliner, III 3:42 PM

Mayhap, Al, because it isn’t there (or no one can see it)!  I have to assume you refer to the tiny blur in line between the lone man in a white shirt (over his left shoulder) and the mill tower - covered by the “W” in “Whaleneck” in Brian’s markup.  HK, ***PLEASE***, give us bigger (*MUCH* bigger) enlargements - pretty please, pretty please with Aspartame on it.  Sam, III

Feb 04 2020 S. Nerliner, III 3:58 PM

Oops - forgot to reference Mystery Foto #34 of 2 Aug 2015, <http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/article/mystery_friday_foto_33_can_you_identify_tis_section_of_the_long_island_moto>, which documents the Ladenburg property; ditto, to a lesser extent, Bridge Series #35 of 07 Aug 2013, <http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/article/long_island_motor_parkway_bridge_series_35_the_meadowbrook_bridge_in_east_m>; and several others.  Sam, III

Feb 04 2020 Dave Russo 8:56 PM

Wow, you guys are incredible w your knowledge / research.

Brian, you’ve been hanging out w frank too much. Your map skills are getting really good.

I love seeing these old Long Island pics. What’s cooler then seeing the space you grew up with before it was developed. There’s history and there’s personal history and seeing these LI locations that I’m familiar with is awesome. I get people that love history of all types but to me this beats the ancient Egyptians or Romans any day of the week!

If you drive on old country road east passing merrick ave and then look to the right (south) they have a section of the park that is preserved and really does look like this.

Feb 04 2020 S. Berliner, III 11:39 PM

Dave, all of the north end of Salisbury-cum-Eisenhower Park, i.e. across OCR from Holy Rood Cemetery, between Post-cum-Merrick Ave. and Salisbury Park Drive, has been completely redeveloped.  That’s also far north of the LIMP RoW (some half-mile).  To what preserved section are you referring?  Sam, III

Feb 05 2020 Al Velocci 9:34 AM

Howard, Not generally known is that the Ladenburgs and the Vanderbilts traveled in the same social circles and were at least acquainted with each other. That well publicized parade of flowered automobiles held in Newport on Sept 7, 1899 was organized by Willie’s mother, Alva. Mrs. Ladenburg participated in the event in a Stanhope driven by Jack Astor.

Feb 06 2020 frank femenias 5:48 AM

Correction: Present day Ladenburg Lane is not an original road in the estate. Access to the estate/racetrack were gained via Valentines Rd, Plain Rd, and Westbury Rd, all of which still exists today, including the racetrack that is currently being used as the backyard to East Meadow Elementary School. I rode my bike to the racetrack a few years back and its oval shape, though interrupted at certain points, remains intact

1926 map link below


Feb 06 2020 Brian D McCarthy 10:47 AM

Yes Dave, I realized my iPhone can do fancy things with these photos : )

Sam III - Think Dave is referring to a protected section of what’s left of the Hempstead Plains ( Wild grasses, etc. ), there’s a marker sign in the area south of Old Country Rd.

Feb 06 2020 S. Berliner, III 11:32 PM

We’re getting far afield LIMP-wise but the preserved prairie is at Nassau CC at Mitchell Field, NOT Eisenhower - oops!  Wrong!  There’s a patch “behind the Red Course”, which must be to what Dave and Brian refer.  Mot being a golfer, I don’t know what “behind” means; map, please, someone.  There are some good LIMP aerial pix at the site where I found I’m wrong:  <https://vocal.media/wander/the-last-and-only-eastern-prairie>.  Sam, III

Feb 07 2020 Art Kleiner 10:52 AM

Here you go Sam - the “patch” behind the red course (adjacent o Old Country Road) and the “Prairie” at Nassau Community College - I visited the latter for the first time this past June and imagined most of central Nassau County looking like this at one time.

image image image
Feb 08 2020 S, Berliner, III 4:52 PM

Thanks, Art; that’s exactly where I assumed Dave meant but I was in there many times over the past 70 years and, unlike the Mitchel patch, there’s NOTHING original about it.  It was barren, ‘way back.  Prairie grasses and such may have re-established themselves, along with shrubs, but “original”?  No way, Hose A!  Back to the LIMP, anyone?  Sam, III

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