Apr 22 2010

Speakers at the 1908 Motor Parkway Ground-Breaking

As described yesterday, General Manager A.R. Pardington delivered William K. Vanderbilt Jr's keynote speech for the ground-breaking ceremony for the Long Island Motor Parkway on June 6, 1908. Four other distinguished speakers also gave presentations that day.


Russell A. Field, the secretary of the Long Island Automobile Club and the automobile editor for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, extolled the benefits of what roads such as the Parkway would do touring and sightseeing and at the same time provide a safe venue for automobile racing and other speed contests. (Courtesy of the Garden City Archives.)


John C. Wetmore, considered the dean of New York automobile writers, also took the podium. He lavishly praised Vanderbilt and the other Parkway organizers for their vision and foresight in conceiving the Motor Parkway and bringing it to fruition. (Courtesy of the Garden City Archives.)


August Heckscher, a Huntington resident and a Motor Parkway director, commented on the benefits that roads such as the parkway would bring to Long Islanders. Heckscher is best remembered by the state park on Great South Bay in Islip Township bearing his name and a town park in Huntington. (Courtesy of the Garden City Archives.)


Another speaker was Judge William H. Hotchkiss, President of the American Automobile Association. An ardent automobilist, his well-chosen words prophetically foresaw how automobile ownership would someday be within the reach of the everyday working man. “Such roads, limited to the new vehicle especially constructed for it, like the railroad, have become necessary, and the Long Island Motor Parkway is the first of such roads anywhere in the world.” (Courtesy of the Garden City Archives.)


The honor of turning the first ceremonial turn of the earth fell to Pardington. Putting his best foot forward, Pardington eagerly dug into the sandy Long Island soil with a golden shovel. Note the applause accompanied by cheers and the waving of hats by the dignitaries. One could almost feel the satisfaction of the arrival of this momentous day. (Courtesy of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.)


Apr 25 2010 Christopher Turner 9:26 PM

Where exactly is the location of the ground breaking ceremony of the LIMP?

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