Jan 28 2017

Sam & Dave’s Excellent “Lost” Motor Parkway Adventure III: The Eastern Terminus of the Motor Parkway

In the third post of the "Lost" Motor Parkway series, the father/son team of Sammy & Dave "decided to have a look at the end of the Motor Parkway after Sam's November soccer game in Stony Brook."


Howard Kroplick


When the Long Island Motor Parkway route was completed to Lake Ronkonkoma in 1911, officials decided to build a first-class dining facility and half-way stop for travelers.William K. Vanderbilt Jr. once again commissioned architect John Russell Pope to design the Parkway Inn later renamed Petit Trianon.Opening day was June 9, 1911.

This 1925 schematic showed the relationship of Petit Trianon, the Motor Parkway and Lake Ronkonkoma.

As seen in this Google Earth aerial, the Motor Parkway east of Rosevale Avenue is now Lake Drive.

Sam & Dave's Excellent "Lost" Motor Parkway Adventure

House on Lake Drive

 Old looking house on Lake Dr with strange little stone wall around it - with some funny looking posts on the side yard.

Close-Up of the posts

Wall at the end of Lake Drive

At the end of Lake Dr - this wall stands - it wraps all the way around. Has to be original, no???

Looks like remaining original "Petit" wall with what was once staircase to water?

In 2015, Steve Lucas found this piece of porcelain near this site explored by Sammy & Dave.

Big piece of concrete in Petit lake location.

Different angle for the wall/steps.

Some other wall fragments near the step location.

Femenias' Findings (Submitted by Frank Femenias)


Jan 29 2017 Laura and Kenneth Harris 10:13 AM

Nice job-keep up the good work.  I wish my dad had been interested in the motor parkway when we moved to Long Island in 1952.

Ken Harris

Jan 29 2017 Ted 12:17 PM

As always,you’ll never know what you’ll find and you guys do it every time and it’s amazing what you find after so many years that you can still identify it. Don’t know about that wall that wraps around,it could be original. What about that piece of porcelain they found in 2015? I wonder what else there’s to be found?

Jan 29 2017 Steve lambert 1:06 PM

I think this is the Eastern end LOL. Very cool article though. I remember “exploring that area in the 70s, remember that little house and the wall. Surprised there is that much left. Used to drive the parkway from Lake Ronkonkoma to the part where it ends at Fox Lane in Dix Hills.

Howard Kroplick

Steve, good catch!  It is the western terminus for people living in Riverhead grin

Jan 29 2017 Steve Lucas 3:40 PM

Hello Sam & Dave:
I was in that old looking house with the stone wall around it last summer when the owners held a moving / yard sale. It’s probably not all that old, maybe 1950’s or so. I have no answer for the posts, however. Keep up the good work. I love your adventures.

Jan 29 2017 S. Berliner, III 9:10 PM

I can’t find an early pic I took of the steps but they were quite visible/accessible ca. 1980-90.  Great work -as always, Dave and Sam!  Sam, III

Jan 30 2017 Paul DiNatale 1:06 AM

my theory on the hose with the cement posts-could it be a tollhouse where the toll keeper worked or lived?

Jan 30 2017 LMK 10:50 AM

So interesting….Thanks for sharing your effort & discoveries !

Jan 30 2017 Dave Russo 12:40 PM

I should have taken more pictures. Those steps really lead right to the lake. It seems certain that was from the petit.

I’m thinking the concrete wall was a driveway wall of sorts leading up to the petit. The wall pretty much continues from that little house to the point where it makes the turn, I’m guessing that was the official runway/driveway wall leading up to the petit. All of the old estates have entries like this. Maybe someone has some old pics?

I realize that house I took the pic of is not old, but the posts in there have to be LIMP related.

One question going back to ronkonkoma lodge pic, it is evident from the old picture the lodge was right on the LIMP. Today the lodge is at least 100 feet away. I’m wondering if the original LIMP was buried? Could the lodge have been moved? This is a question right up Franks alley. Topographical King Frank!

Jan 30 2017 Brian D McCarthy 7:55 PM

Those posts are definitely affiliated with the LIMP, Dave & Sam. Their the “guardrail” type that was on both sides of the roadway. I’ve seen them in Queens and Nassau. The rectangular cut outs had 2” x 6” planks running thru them likely.j

I remember from past blogs regarding the Ronkonkoma lodge being relocated west and a bit north from it’s original location ( straddling the LIMP ). I agree, let Frank do his magic.

Did you guys notice that the land just N/O of the LIMP has a steady uprise just before Rosevale Ave? Don’t know if that’s a natural land formation, but I do know that there was to be a Parkway bridge over Rosevale Ave., but never built because of financial constraints.

Jan 30 2017 frank femenias 7:59 PM

Great job again Sam and Dave. The house with the posts (28 Lake Drive) was Bob DeStefani’s childhood home in 1937, built in 1928 and bought by his Uncle before Bob and family moved in. The LIMP closed one year after Bob moved in. He must know about those posts if he can be reached. They sure look like LIMP posts.

Dave - Working on an overlay in the area but no aerials are available it seems. The aerial at the Stony Brook website is poor quality but may have to do. With the Petit Trianon in its right place, it’ll be easier to see what those stairs and the wrap around walls with corner adornments are all about. Also sending Howard a photo of the Petit with similar walls that you guys found.

Keep exploring!

Feb 03 2017 Al Velocci 1:23 PM

Hi Dave Russo, For more information regarding the Ronkonkoma Lodge, see my book. Al Velocci.

Feb 03 2017 Al Velocci 1:28 PM

Dave,  The entrance to the Petit Trianon completely flat, no walls. However, there were entrances to the basement on both the north and south side of the Inn. Perhaps they were the side walls of one on the stair wells to the basement. Al Velocci.

Feb 05 2017 frank femenias 3:28 AM

Those ARE guardrail posts as noted by Brian. This is the first time I’ve heard of a parkway bridge going over Rosevale Av (it seems logical as Willie K wanted to avoid all grade crossings). But if true, these posts may have been delivered to the bridge site that was never built, right down the block of DeStefani’s house (built 1928), later to be used for? Monumental purposes? How did it serve the DeStefani family? The puzzle continues.

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