Oct 08 2009

The Motor Parkway from Little Neck Parkway to Marcus Avenue Part I

Elliott, thanks for the questions. First, the pavement of the Long Island Motor Parkway was only 16 to 22 feet across. The Motor Parkway right-of way (the area purchased by Vanderbilt and his business associates) was typically 50 feet to 100 feet in width. The property lines and the guardrails for the Motor Parkway were often indicated by concrete posts (described extensively on Sam Berliner's wonderful Motor Parkway website). Hundreds of these posts are still in place today from Fresh Meadows in Queens to Lake Ronkonkoma in Suffolk County including; a few between Little Neck Parkway and Marcus Avenue. Before we explore the ground level, let's explore this Queens section from the air.


The Motor Parkway from Little Neck Parkway to Marcus Parkway can be seen in the middle of this 1924 aerial. Note:William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.'s former Deepdale mansion located at the top left of the aerial and Lakeville Avenue on the right. Note: Survey labels corrected on October 14, 2009M



This 1929 aerial (courtesy of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum) shows the Motor Parkway Bridge over Marcus Avenue looking east. The original Glen Oaks Club is on the bottom half of the aerial west of the Motor Parkway.


This 1952 aerial of the same area looking west has many facets. The long-abandoned Motor Parkway Bridge over Northern Parkway can be seen in the upper right corner of the aerial. Note the trees and bushes growing on the bridge. The more prominent bridge to the east of the Motor Parkway is Lakeville Road. The Motor Parkway enters the aerial from the top-left corner from 74th Street and angles down the center of the photo. Just east of the Motor Parkway, construction has begun on the Long Island Jewish Hospital. Finally, parking for the enormous Sperry Corporation plant on Marcus Avenue is prominent.


Back on the ground today, there are a few remaining Motor Parkway post along the boundary fence in the parking lots of LIJ and the nearby office buidlings.


This is the best preserved concrete post in the area. The former Glen Oaks Club is now the golf course for North Shore Towers.


Here is the site of the Motor Parkway at Marcus Avenue Bridge. Note:The remains of the Marcus Avenue Bridge are likely the hill to the left and the concrete barrier on the north side of the street.

Concerning your last question, there are no remnants of the Motor Parkway in the area of the Lake Success Jewish Center.

Update: October 14, 2009:Motor Parkway from Little Neck Parkway to Marcus Avenue Part II


Oct 10 2009 Joe Oesterle 7:59 AM

Dear Howard,
I keep looking at the first overhead picture you have posted with the 10/8/2009 blog.  At first I thought Marcus Avenue must have moved, but I have changed my mind.  I keep comparing the photo with historicariels.com and google earth, and I believe the spot you marked as Little Neck Parkway bridge just cannot be.  I would love to discuss this further with you.
-joe o

Oct 10 2009 Howard Kroplick 9:55 PM

Hi Joe:

Sure anytime! Send an email to me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Oct 12 2009 Howard Kroplick 9:51 PM

Hi Joe;

Motor Parkway Panel convenor Sam Berliner suggests that the first bridge in the photo went over Hewlett Avenue.

The Motor Parkway investigation unit is on the scene and will report back this week!


Oct 14 2009 Howard Kroplick 11:57 PM

Hi Joe and Sam:

The image has been corrected in this post:



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