Mar 27 2016

Searching for the Site of the Long Island Aviation Country Club & the Grandstands Updated 5/3/16

Richard Sloan is working on a submission to the Town of Hempstead to place a historical marker for the Long Island Aviation Country Club in Levittown.

Richard contacted me and asked for assistance in documenting the club's location. I forwarded Richard the following maps, surveys, aerials and photos. But, more importantly, I asked our master mapper Frank Femenias to use his magic to help Richard. Check out Frank's amazing findings concerning the location of the Long Island Aviation Country Club and the grandstands, officials' stand/press box and crew pits for the 1908 to 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races.


Howard Kroplick

Reference Materials

1908 to 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races

Grandstand and Officials' Stand/Press Box in 1908

Officials' Stand/Press Box in 1908

August 1909 schematic showing the location of the grandstand

1928 Motor Parkway Atlas


1926 aerial of Hempstead Plains

January 23, 1931 aerial

November 7, 1938 aerial

1950 aerial

Note how the houses line up to the club's buildings.

Long Island Aviation Country Club

Femenias' Findings (Submitted by Frank Femenias)

Scale of grandstand, crew pits and officials' stand/press box. Width of press box was later reducted to 30 feet.


Updated May 3, 2016: Frank Femenias: U pdates for new measurements of the Official's Stand. Only the length of the Official's Stand was changed for closer accuracy.

Overlay showing the location of the grandstand,crew pits and officials'stand/pressbox in relation to Crocus Lane and Orchid Road.

Updated: 5/3/16: The most eastern section of the grandstand was much closer to Crocus Road than previously reported.

The historical marker for the grandstand placed by the Town of Hempstead at Orchid and Skimmer Lane, one block west of its actual location

Long Island Aviation Country Club

Location of the Long Island Aviation Country Club's clubhouse, tennis court and pool in relation to the site of the 1908-1910 grandstands.

Location of the hangar



Mar 27 2016 Richard Sloan 11:49 AM

A thousand thanx to Howard and Frank for helping me pinpoint the footprint of the L.I. Country Club Airport clubhouse and double hangar.  Before Frank entered the picture, I had zeroed in on it laterally east and west with the help of a couple of 1950 aerial photos taken slightly from the west of the site.  (It turned out that I was off by between twenty five and forty feet!)  I still had trouble determining the north and south spot, because I wasn’t sure about where the old Motor Parkway had been there and how wide it was.  That would be the logical starting point for my N/S calculations. Howard told me it had been twenty-two feet wide, and with the help of two old close-ups of the hangars taken around 1939,  I was able to calculate that the distance between the south side of the hangar and the north edge of the Parkway as exactly 88 feet.  But I still needed to know the precise location of the north edge of the Parkway!  (88 feet from where today?!)  Some have previously claim that the row of (now somewhat rounded) squares in the lawn between Blacksmith Rd. and Orchid Lane is the Parkway’s footprint.  However, a Google aerial view shows a beat up strip of grass about thirty five feet wide that runs parallel to those squares and continued west on the other side of Crocus Lane.  (By the way, that western strip is gone now, the recent housing construction having wiped it away.)  I wondered if the beat up grass was the result of dirt having been placed atop the old parkway roadway and was then seeded.  If so, there wasn’t a sufficient thickness of good soil for lawn for it to “take” as well as it is everywhere else in that large fenced-in plot.  I didn’t want to simply assume that the center of that strip was the center of the Parkway, and there were other factors and measurements I took that made me skeptical.  (For one thing, why is the beat up grass over thirty feet wide if the Parkway beneath it is only twenty-two feet wide?)  When Howard furnished the almost head-on 1950 aerial photo he found in an estate sale (shown above), Frank and I were on our way.  Frank then performed his overlay magic, as you can also see above.  Again, thanks Howard and Frank!  Now I’ll send the Town of Hempstead my application for an historical marker, which will be accompanied by photos and a write-up of the airport’s history and its significance.  I would like that marker to be the sturdy blue and yellow type, but that will be up to the Landmark Preservation Commission—if they approve the sign in the first place.  If anyone has any tips about making my application, please let me know.  By the way, Charles Lindbergh—a charter member of the airport club—taught his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, how to fly there.  Jackie Kennedy’s father was also a member, according to a membership list shown to me by Paul Manton, Pres. of the Levittown Museum.  (Others who have assisted me thus far are Julia Blum at the Cradle of Aviation Museum and librarian Virginia Carew of the Levittown Public Library.) Thanx again, guys!

Mar 27 2016 Ted 11:50 AM

Good morning and a Happy Eeaster to all. Great finding Frank. Going to be pretty busy the next two months,making the move to Florida,but it’s going to be well worth it in the long run once we’re settled in. I’ll keep in touch whenever I can

Mar 27 2016 Richard Sloan 4:29 PM

Good luck on your move!

Mar 27 2016 S. Berliner, III 9:16 PM

Yeeks!  I’m supposed to know a LITTLE about the LIMP, I’ve visited the grandstand site many, many times, and I know quite a lot about the LIACC, but I somehow never noticed they were adjacent!  Thanks, Howard and Frank!  Sam, III

Mar 28 2016 James Spina 8:53 AM

I remain saddened that this intensely historic site seems deemed unworthy of future preservation but energized that research such as this might actually and eventually reverse that before all is lost. Spent some wondrous years strolling this area with my son Gram a few years back and not a year goes by without him asking if we can visit the grandstands once again!

From Howard Kroplick:

James, at one point Nassau County was looking into purchasing the property as a park. However, when many of the surrounding residents opposed having a park in their backyards, the plan was dropped.

Mar 28 2016 Art Kleiner 6:08 PM

Yes, sad that this part of the Parkway is once again being thrown to the wayside.  But relics still remain.  See my website for some update pics.

Also, an additional two homes are planned on the east side Heron, two blocks to the west of Crocus. 

Richard - you probably saw this in your research, but in case you haven’t here’s a website with much info. on the airport.

If you want any help retreiving newspaper articles about the airport let me know.  I’m a Levittown resident and enjoy local history, especially right around the corner (almost).

Mar 28 2016 Chris Battestin 6:21 PM

All of this stuff should have been preserved. More hiking could have been done here. The planners of Levittown didn’t think of the future enough.

Apr 03 2016 Richard Sloan 10:00 AM

Yesterday, for the first time, I visited the bldg. in Bethpage that has the roof of one of the two hangars of the LICCA (L.I. Country Club Airport).  Frank Femenias gives the lengths of the hangars as 100 feet each.  Just for fun, I’ll make a return trip and measure the portion of the new bldg. that’s just beneath the hangar roof and see what it turns out to be. 
  After making my first visit to it yesterday and taking some pictures, (it can be be seen much better from the Google earth satelite, for anyone interested), I went to the L.I. Book Fair at LIU Post.  A gentleman next to me at one of the booths was browsing through a book on L.I. history, and I noticed by looking over his shoulder a 2-page spread on the Vanderbilt Motor Pkwy that had caught his attention.  He took the book to pay for it before I could get a better look.  As he walked away with it I asked if he wouldn’t mind letting me see those 2 pages.  He asked if I was interested in the Parkway, and when I said that I was —tangentialy, that my main interest was a nearby airport, he asked, “Are you Richard Sloan?!”  I countered with “Howard?!”  It was our first meeting.  His lovely wife approached, and he introduced me to her.  A lovely couple!

Apr 05 2016 frank femenias 4:29 PM

What an unexpected surprise meet! It MUST be a small world after all. Richard, what were your measurement findings.

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