Aug 20 2018

Update:Mystery Foto #33 Solved:Spectacular 1924 Aerial of the Meadow Brook Hunt Club & Motor Parkway

Author Richard Panchyk challenged you again with another gem from this aerial treasure chest.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the location and orientation of the photographer

Westbury (now Uniondale)/East Meadow looking northeast over the Salisbury Plains

  • Identify the major roads.

Long Island Motor Parkway, Stewart Avenue, Merrick Avenue (Whaleneck Road) and Newbridge Road (Bellmore Avenue/Salisbury Park Drive)

  • Identify the Long Island Motor Parkway structure(s)

Merrick Avenue Bridge, Meadowbrook Bridge over Newbridge Road, and Stewart Avenue Bridge, and the entrance to the Meadow Brook Lodge. The Meadow Brook Lodge appears to be hidden behind the trees.

  • Link the Mystery Foto to the Vanderbilt Cup Races.

The courses for the 1908, 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races all went over the Merrick Avnue Bridge and headed east on the Motor Parkway sen in this aerial.

  • Which bridge in the aerial is still standing?

The Central RR Bridge over the entrance to the Meadow Brook Hunt Club and Polo Grounds is still standing in the woods off of the Meadowbrook Parkway.

  • Identify the railroad track and railroad station.

Central Railroad of Long Island and the Salisbury Plains Station.

  • Identify the other significant Long Island buildings.

This is probably the best aerial view of the clubhouse, polo grounds, stables and associated buildings for the Meadow Brook Hunt Club and Polo Club.

The large clubhouse for the Salisbury Country Club can be seen near the top of the aerial off Merrick Avenue.Identify the golf courses.

Meadow Brook Club and Salisbury Links

  • Which future First Lady lived on a property seen in the Mystery Foto?

Eleanor Roosevelt lived on her father's Half Nirvana estate on Salisbury Drive and Valentine's Road.

  • Identify the property located on the upper right section of the aerial.

The Ladenberg Estate which the Motor Parkway needed to circle around.

  • What is the date of the Mystery Foto? Provide a rationale.

The aerial is dated 1924. The newness of the Salisbury Country Club clubhouse and Salisbury Plains Station.

Update: Lee Chambers has added additional kudo questions and highlighted close-ups:

  • What was the purpose of the two clusters of buildings and the rectangular building?
  • Is there significance to the large vertical mast?
  • Was the body of water in the Mystery Foto naturally recurring or man-made? Is it still there today?
  • Was there a debris field to the left of the building seen near the top?

See below Lee Chambers' close-up and comments for possible answers.

Comments (10):

Congrats to Greg O.,Lee Chambers, Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner), Frank Femenias, Steve Lucas, Tim Ivers, and Michael LaBarbera for identifying the Westbury/East Meadow location.

Kudos to Lee Chambers for  providing all the fun details on this wonderful aerial.

Check out the town historian of North Hempstead on CBS Channel 2 News tonight.


Howard Kroplick

Lee Chambers' Close-ups

Lee Chambers: Striving for accuracy, based on the comments submitted thus far, I have labeled each of the structures of interest accordingly:
Black - Polo Grounds Grandstand.  There were two of these with the 'matching' one on the other side of the field not in sight.  Combined, they held 40,000 spectators.  The LIRR ran special trains through what became Mitchel Field, dropping passengers off on a low cinder platform immediately East of what became Endo Blvd.  From there, pedestrians cold easily walk over to the field.  Even that was not enough.  Additional trains also ran on the main line to Westbury with a shuttle bus running down to the field.
Yellow - Polo Grounds Stables.  The corral is obvious.  Could the two story buildings have been administrative offices?  The layout of the cluster of buildings resembles a self contained compound.  The road running adjacent to it may have eventually become part of Perimeter Road, portions of which still exist today.  As a point of reference, the James Fuller (he lived two houses down from me on Rice Circle) Physical Plant at NCC (the first building of the new campus constructed) would be in the field just to the North of here. 
Orange - Meadow Brook Clubhouse.  Meadow Brook Club Road winds down from the train trestle to the main entrance with the stately white columns in the front which are not seen in the photo as the viewpoint is from the rear.  These buildings stood as late as the early '50's and were torn down for construction of the Meadowbrook Parkway extension in 1955. 
Green - Unknown Structure.  What was this? My guess is it was Polo Grounds related.  Dormitories for visiting teams?  Food for spectators?  There appears to be a private home behind it.  Did the innkeeper live there?  It likely was not related to either of the golf courses as each of them had their own facilities for patrons.
Red - Salisbury Links Clubhouse.  Is this correct?  The golf club's property extended to the west of Merrick Ave.?  Meaning golfers had to cross a busy thoroughfare to get to the various courses to the East?  Or was vehicular traffic not that much of a concern back then? 

Chambers' Treasures

Meadow Brook Hunt Club-1906

Meadow Brook Hunt Club- 1930s

Plymouth Ad - Meadow Brook Polo Club -1955

Salisbury Country Club

Salisbury Plains Station-1923

Salisbury Plains Station-LIRR

Salisbury Plains Station-1955

Central RR Bridge over Meadow Brook Club Road-1955 Courtesy of Dave Keller

Central RR Bridge over Meadow Brook Club Road- 1964 Courtesy of Dick Makse

Location of Central RR Bridge


Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

The Long Islander, August 22, 1891

The Long Islander, January 16, 1892

Robert Spinzia, 2010

Long Island Herald, April 23, 2014