May 08 2016

Mystery Fotos #19 Amost Solved : Eight Amazing 1928 Aerials from the Cradle of Aviation Archives

The Cradle of Aviation challenged you to identify these eight Mystery Foto aerials taken by a survey team from Curtiss Company circa 1928. Update: seven  of the eight Mystery Foto locations were identified.

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the locations for the eight aerials:
  1. Mystery Foto A: Playland Park (1924-1931), South Grove Street, Freeport
  2. Mystery Foto B: Lakeville Golf and Country Club, Lakeville Avenue, Lake Success (Currently Fresh Meadows Country Club)
  3. Mystery Foto C: The LIRR in Kew Gardens, Queens
  4. Mystery Foto D: Mineola High School building (1927-   ), Emory Road, Mineola (Currently Mineola Middle School)
  5. Mystery Foto E: Curtiss Engineering Corporation building (1918-   ), Clinton Road, Garden City (Currently Nassau BOCES George Farber Administrative Center)
  6. Mystery Foto F: ? Possibly greenhouses located in Hempstead
  7. Mystery Foto G: Harbor Hill Estate, Harbor Hill Road, Roslyn (1902-1947), New York (Now East Hills)
  8. Mystery Foto H: Lido Golf and Country Club (1928-  ),  Long Beach Island, Lido Beach (Currently Lido Beach Towers)
  • Which Mystery Foto includes the Long Island Motor Parkway?

The Long Island Motor Parkway can be seen in the Curtiss Engineering Corporation Mystery Foto E in the top left corner, running parallel to Stewart Avenue.

Congrats to the following for solving last Friday's Myster Fotos:

  •     Mystery Foto A (2): Playland Park, Freeport: Gary Hammond (see Hammond's Historical Happenings), Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner)
  •     Mystery Foto B (1): Lakeville Golf and Country Club, Lake Success: Gary Hammond
  •     Mystery Foto C (3): The LIRR in Kew Gardens, Queens: Gary Hammond, Art Kleiner, Frank Femenias (see Femenias' Findings)
  •     Mystery Foto D (1): Mineola High School building, Mineola: A Ward
  •     Mystery Foto E (7): Curtiss Engineering Corporation building, Garden City: A. Ward, John Bayer, Gary Hammond, Steve Lucas, Sam Berliner III, Art Kleiner, Greg O.
  •     Mystery Foto F (4): ?- Possibly greenhouses located in Hempstead: Clues supplied by Steven Wasserman, Sam Berliner III, Art Kleiner, Al Velocci
  •     Mystery Foto G (10): Harbor Hill Estate, Roslyn: Dave Russo, Gary Hammond, Steve Lucas, Sam Berliner III, Art Kleiner, Ted, Frank Femenias, Greg O., Dave & Sammy Russo
  •     Mystery Foto H (5): Lido Golf and Country Club, Lido Beach: Gary Hammond, Steve Lucas, Art Kleiner, Frank Femenias, Greg O.

Kudos to Gary Hammond (Hammond's Historical Findings), Art Kleiner (Kleiner's Korner), Frank Femenias (Femenias' Findings) and Sammy & Dave Russo (Sammy & Dave's Exceelent Adventure) for provide wonderful supporting information and jpegs.

Super kudos to Gary Hammond and A. Ward for being the solo solvers for Mystery Foto B (Fresh Meadows Country Club)and Mystery Foto D (Mineola High School.)


Howard Kroplick

Mystery Foto A: Playland Park (1924-1931), South Grove Street, Freeport

Hint: The amusement park was located in Nassau County and considered the Coney Island of Long Island.

Hammond's Historical Happenings (submitted by Gary Hammond)

Image from Long Island Memories / Freeport Memorial Library website along with the caption.
"Colorized postcard of Playland Park which was located on the east side of South Grove Street (Guy Lombardo Avenue) just south of Front Street. It featured a roller coaster, amusement park rides, a restaurant, an ice cream pavilion, a carousel and a swimming pool. The waterway to the north is the Woodcleft Basin and to the east, Hudson Canal."
This account of the demise of Playland Park in June 1931 is posted on the Freeport Fire Department website.

The aero view is from the Library of Congress, and was drawn by Rene Cinquin and published by Metropolitan Aero-View Co. in 1925.   It shows both the location of Playland Park (top right), and a close-up insert (see below.)

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

1927 Map

New York Times, June 9, 1935

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 12, 1935

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 16, 1937

1939 Map

Current view

Mystery Foto B: Lakeville Golf and Country Club, Lakeville Avenue, Lake Success (Currently Fresh Meadows Country Club)Hint:

Hint: The address for the country club was on the same road as a course for a Vanderbilt Cup Race.

The clubhouse for the Fresh Meadows Country Club today.

The course for the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race pass right in front of the future entrance to the clubhouse.

Mystery Foto C:The LIRR in Kew Gardens, Queens

Hint: Think Queens

Femenias' Findings (Submitted by Frank Femenias)

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

Mystery Foto D: Mineola High School building (1927- ), Emory Road, Mineola (Currently Mineola Middle School)

Hint: Originally a high school, still operating as a middle school.

Mineola Middle School today

Mystery Foto E: Curtiss Engineering Corporation building (1918- ), Clinton Road, Garden City (Currently Nassau BOCES George Farber Administrative Center)

Hint: The buildings are still standing today. 

1923 Belcher-Hyde Map of the area. Note: The proximity of the Long Island Motor Parkway.

The Curtiss name can still be seen on the smokestack.

The Curtiss Engineering Corporation building today.

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

Note the Clinton Road Motor Parkway Bridge on the left.

Mystery Foto F: ? Possibly greenhouses located in Hempstead

Hint: The houses around the property may help, likely a larger village.

Closeups of surrounding homes.

Mystery Foto G: Harbor Hill Estate, Harbor Hill Road, Roslyn (1902-1947), New York (now East Hills), Looking east

Hint: The owner of this estate attended had a box seat for the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

In October 2013, the south Mackay Horse Statue (right in the above aerial) was restored and relocated to Gerry Park in Roslyn.

Clarence Mackay (in the middle), the owner of the Harbor Hill Estate, can be seen at the end of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race, standing next to William K. Vanderbilt , Jr. (wearing goggles).

Femenias Findings (Submitted by Frank Femenias)

Source: Stony Brook Digital 1938

Sammy & Dave's Excellent Adventure (Submitted by Dave & Sammy Russo)

Remnants of the Harbor Hill Estate

Sammy at the Mackay Estate Gate Lodge on Harbor Hill Road in East Hills.

The Mackay Estate Water Tower on Redwood Drive, East Hills.

Mystery Foto H: Lido Golf and Country Club (1928- ), Long Beach Island, Lido Beach (Currently Lido Beach Towers)

Hint: The building is now a condo.

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

The Lido in 1942

U.S. Naval Receiving Station during World War II

The Lido Beach Hotel in 1963. It once housed United Nations' officials when the headquarters was in Lake Success.

Hammond's Historical Happenings (submitted by Gary Hammond)

New York Times, November 22, 2012  Towers, Rich in History, Await Rebirth After Storm

Femenias' Findings (Submitted by Frank Femenias)


May 06 2016 A Ward 6:36 PM

Photo C - Forest HIlls, south of LIRR -
Photo D - former Mineola High School circa 1929-1935
Photo E - Curtis Manufacturing facility, Garden City.

May 07 2016 Dave Russo 10:57 PM

Foto G is the Clarence Mackay estate in Roslyn. Just another unbelievable LI Gold Coast masterpiece of yesteryear.

The main gate is still standing, right across from Roslyn HS, the water tower remains in tact and one of the beautiful horse statues at the bottom of the pic is located right on Main Street next to Roslyn Duck Pond.

May 08 2016 John Bayer 11:36 AM

Foto E is the old Curtiss Engineering Co. grounds; now belongs to School District - plant where the NC flying boats were built - First Across the Atlantic!  See video of Nc-4 here…

John Bayer

May 08 2016 Steven Wasserman 11:36 AM

Howard, Thanks for posting these great photos. I can’t identify any of the locales, but many of them look familiar, at least in a generic way. The country club and high school especially so. The greenhouses look like they’re at the intersection of Front Street and East Meadow Avenue (formerly Newbridge Avenue) where a large nursery property was located when we moved from the city, but I don’t think there could have been so many residences nearby in the 30’s. So that locale is probably much closer to a larger population center. I’m not usually nostalgic about Long Island, but I thank you for reminding me about its many interesting features.

May 08 2016 Howard Kroplick 5:47 PM

From Gary Hammond

Here’s my answers to this weeks mystery photos:

Hammond’s Historical Happenings

• Photo A: Playland Park, Freeport; existed 1924-1931; 9 acres at South Grove St. & Front St., Freeport (see attached post card (c.1920’s) for details)

• Photo B: Fresh Meadow Country Club, 255 Lakeville Rd., Lake Success; buildings still exist today (as does the swimming pool hidden in the trees), although much expanded

• Photo C: Kew Gardens, Queens; looking NW down LIRR tracks; lowest bridge is Lefferts Ave.; LIRR Station is just above it on right side of the tracks; next bridge is 82nd St. Bridge; then 80th St. Bridge; then the next bridge is now replaced by Jackie Robinson Pkwy; the Park at top left is part of Forest Park; road on right side of photo is Austin St.; road on left side of LIRR is Grenfell St.; all the street names are based on current road names, as I don’t know if that is the names used in the 1920’s or if they have been renamed since then

• Photo D: Is obviously a superimposed artistic rendition of a proposed school building, location unknown to me

• Photo E: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation Plant, Clinton Road & Stewart Ave., Garden City;
1. Note name “CURTISS” spelled out on the smokestack (still exists today); for many decades the building was home to Oxford Pendaflex, and is today used by both Nassau BOCES and FedEx
2. also the old gas tank (now removed), both an obstacle & navigational landmark for the aviators flying at Curtiss/Roosevelt Fields; the still site is occupied by National Grid as 600 Stewart Ave.
3. on the right are some of the old wooden WWI warehouse buildings left over from Camp Mills
4. the building on the left side of the photo also still exists, although today it is a Chase Bank
5. the 3-story building on the right, just below the gas tank, is used still by the 1st Marine Corps District, 605 Stewart Ave. (see separate history below)
6. and of course we can’t forget the LIMP running diagonal across the top left of the photo (notice the white concrete posts), pass Raymond Ct., where many of those homes still stand!

• Photo F: An unknown greenhouse complex

• Photo G: Clarence Mackay Estate, Harbor Hill, Roslyn

.    Photo H: The Lido Beach Hotel

History of Marine Corps building (from their website):

“The current 1st Marine Corps District building was built by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) in 1923 for a warehouse and distribution center.  The building became outdated, and A&P built a more modern warehouse further east on Stewart Ave. The vacated building took occupancy in 1941 by Sperry Gyroscope, famous for manufacturing war materials.  During their occupancy, they added several buildings, to include the guardhouse and a cafeteria. Today the cafeteria occupies the same structure, half of which was converted into the 1st MCD Enlisted Club.
The building was purchased by Navy Records Management Center (NRMC) for $319,000 immediately following the end of the war in 1945 in order to process and microfilm the paperwork of the thousands of discharged servicemen of WWII. Being on Long Island for ten years, NRMC moved to more up to date facilities in St. Louis, Mo. in 1955.
For almost a year, the building was only occupied by a small caretaker team. Alicia Patterson, publisher of an up and coming newspaper called NEWSDAY, tried to acquire the property. When she failed, she built her plant next door.
A public affairs officer was scouting the New York area to relocate the 1st MCRD&RD; headquarters. With the help of the caretaker personnel, 11 officers and 53 enlisted Marines took occupancy of the property on August 3, 1953.  In 1956, the 1st Marine Corps Reserve and Recruiting District (MCR&RD;) headquarters moved from Boston to its present location on Stewart Avenue in Garden City, N.Y.  On 11 October 1985, the District held a commemorative naming ceremony to name the building in honor of the historical Marine from the metro New York area, Cpl. John F. Mackie, the first Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor.”
Gary Hammond

May 08 2016 Mark thomas 6:38 PM

Foto g Otto kahn estate

May 08 2016 gail sabella 9:49 PM

Garden city Hotel

May 08 2016 Steve Lucas 10:51 PM

So many photos, so little time! I think I’ve identified a few; the rest I’ll leave to Greg and Art: foto C could be the LIRR over Forest Hills; foto E is the Curtiss Engineering Plant in Garden City with the LIMP in the upper left corner; foto G is Clarence Mackay’s “Harbor Hill” estate in Roslyn; foto H is the old Lido Club Hotel, now the Lido Beach Towers condo. Great pictures. Can’t wait to see what the others are.

May 09 2016 S. Berliner, III 12:40 AM

Without cheating, only E and H are certain.  I worked in the office wing of E ca; 1956; it is (or was recently) the Esselte/Pendaflex plant at the south-east corner of Clinton Street (Glen Cove Road) at Stewart Avenue in Garden City.  It started out as the Curtiss Aeroplane plant and still had the outline of the original Curtiss wind-tunnel throat in the south wall of the second floor passageway between the offices and the factory in 1956.  The LIMP RoW is visible along the upper left (just north of Stewart Avenue)  H is the Lido Beach Hotel-cum-Towers.  F is almost certainly John Lewis Childs’s massive nursery and greenhouse complex on the north side of Jamaica Avenue (Jericho Turnpike/Route 25) in Floral Park and G sure looks like Clarence Mackay’s Harbor Hill high up above Roslyn (at today’s Harbor Hill and Roslyn Roads.  I don’t doubt the rest will elicit “Well, Duh!” from me.  Sam, III

May 09 2016 Art Kleiner 8:23 AM

Documentation sent to Howard for some of these.
Mystery Foto A: Playland Park, Freeport
Mystery Foto B: Deepdale Country Club (Lake Success)
Mystery Foto C: Kew Gardens (showing LIRR, part of Forest Park)
Mystery Foto D: High School?
Mystery Foto E: Curtis Aircraft Corp.  (with Motor Parkway shown)
Mystery Foto F: Joseph Feldis Greenhouses - Hempstead
Mystery Foto G: Harbor Hill Estate, Roslyn
Mystery Foto H: Lido Beach Hotel, Lido Beach

May 09 2016 Al Velocci 9:11 AM

Howard, I believe mystery photo F is of the Hengstenberg greenhouses located on the south side of Graham Ave. in the village of Hempstead between Rose Pl. and Hemlock Dr. The complex was on 8 acres.

May 09 2016 Ted 12:56 PM

I have some answers,also some questions,that I’ll get .
A- Is a roller coaster,probably one of largest in Long Island.
B- Is that the race course in the upper left corner?
C- Where in Queens.
D- Got me on this one.
E- This one too.
F- Same here.
G- Harbor Hill 648 acre Estate in east hills,where the Mackay Horse Statute was.
H- Have no idea.

May 09 2016 frank femenias 3:43 PM

Nice shots.
A: Looks like Bay Park looking South? Waterway looks the same.
B: ?
C: Kew Gardens looking West. Forest Park top left.
D: ?
E: Looks like Garden City looking North? Mayan Ruins on top left.
F: ?
G: Harbor Hill, East Hills looking East.
H: Lido Towers, Lido Beach looking North.

Howard, sending attachments.

May 09 2016 Greg O. 7:21 PM

Didn’t have research time this weekend, so off the top of my head I can only get 2 or 3.

Mystery Photo E.
  Curtiss Engineering on Clinton Rd in Garden City. Motor Parkway can be seen on this photo, background left.
Mystery Photo G
  One of my favorites! A great shot of Clarence Mackay’a Harbor Hill in Roslyn. Can’t miss those beautiful Horse Tamer statues!
Mystery Photo H
  The newly finished at that time Lido Beach Hotel in Lido/Long Beach.

May 09 2016 Ted 11:42 PM

I knew G right away,F I knew was greenhouses,B I kinda thought that was the race course.

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