Dec 29 2014

Mystery Foto #100 Solved:The Jerusalem Avenue Bridge in Hempstead Plains Under Construction in 1908

Art Kleiner forwarded this Mystery Foto and needed your assistance in  identifying this Motor Parkway Bridge.

Answers to the Mystery Foto question:

-What was the location of this Long Island Motor Parkway bridge? Provide your rationale.

Al Velocci and I both believe the photo shows the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge in Hempstead Palins (now Levittown), looking east under construction in early 1908.

Our rationale incorporated the hints provided last Friday and these additional facts:


-The photo was taken during the summer of 1908 prior to the opening of the Motor Parkway. The caption reads: "Inspecting Finished Piece -Motor Parkway."

-The bridge has been documented in our Long Island Motor Parkway Bridge series.

- Sixteen bridges were completed for the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

Additional facts:

-The Mystery Foto bridge was a "highway" bridge, where the Motor Parkway went under the bridge rather than on top of the bridge ("parkway" bridge).

-Eight of the 16 bridges being built in 1908 were "highway" bridges.

-There was only one highway bridge that matched the background terrain of the Mystery Foto-  looking east to the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge.


Congrats to Tim Ivers and Greg O. for correctly identifying this challenging Mystery Foto.


Howard Kroplick


Note the terrain in the background. This island of trees in the Hempstead Plains would be known as Island Trees, which continues to be the name of the school district.

Note the terrain in front of the inspector on the bicycle.

Jerusalem Avenue Bridge

The Jersalem Avenue Bridge under construction on September 3, 1908.

Note the terrain on the right that matches our Mystery Foto. This closeup shows the northern embankment being built.

This view from the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge showed Joe Tracy testing out the Motor Parkway on September 6, 1908 in the Locomobile which would later win the 1908 race. The terrain on the left again matches the Mystery Foto.

This photo was taken from the grandstand looking east to the Jerusalem Avenue Bridge. Once again, the terrain in  background matches our Mystery Foto.

The Eight Motor Parkway "Highway" Bridges Built in 1908.

Stewart Avenue Bridge, East Meadow. Bridge was on a curve.

Carmen Avenue Bridge, East Meadow, looking west. The Ladenburg property can be seen in the background.

Carmen Avenue,East Meadow, looking east. House was on the left.

Jerusalem Avenue Bridge, Hempstead Plains (Levittown). Bingo!

Bloomingdale Road Bridge, Hempstead Plains (Levittown). Motor Parkway curves east and west near this bridge.

Nibbe Farmway Bridge, Central Park (Bethpage). Curve before bridge and Powell Avenue to the north.

Powell Avenue Bridge, Central Park (Bethpage). Nibbe Farmway Bridge to the south and curve to the north.

Plainview Road Bridge, Central Park (Bethpage). Bridge built on a curve.

Botto Farmway Bridge, Old Bethpage. Bridge was in a wooden section with a slight curve.

Submitted by Frank Feminias


Dec 26 2014 Tim Ivers 10:56 AM

Jerusalem Ave. bridge looking east in Levittown.
Flat terrain and straightaway road.

Dec 26 2014 Michael LaBarbera 10:58 AM

Ok I think its looking west at the Wantagh Avenue Bridge because it is being built over a street and it is a straightaway so that is my guess.

Dec 26 2014 Joseph Oesterle 7:19 PM

Carmen Ave

Dec 27 2014 Greg O. 10:18 AM

Another guess here, but I’m going with it being the Jerusalem Ave bridge since the LIMP is very straight through to the highway bridge. This could be looking East from the grandstand location.

Dec 27 2014 frank femenias 8:39 PM

Another great mystery with many possibilities. 
This LIMP highway bridge under construction, c.1908, where the Motor pkwy ran under the bridge, is most likely located in Nassau or Suffolk with wide open fields. There appears to be a slight bend in the roadway veering towards the left, and it’s possible the LIMP further down is being prepared for construction that will turn to the left?
The straightaway under the Powell Ave bridge in Bethpage also appears to veer slightly to the left, but the landscape doesn’t seem to match the mystery in either direction.
Second possibility could be the Jerusalem Ave bridge in Hemp Plains heading west, but the grandstand site after the bridge would’ve been too close to the bridge before the road turns to the left.
Then in Queens, the roadway heading west before the Commonwealth Blvd bridge was a close match with proper road bends, but Commonwealth was a parkway bridge and was disqualified.
This could be the Wheatley Hills golfway bridge looking north (westbound) in East Williston, future site of the Midland Golf Cub established 1913. This location has a close match to the environment as well.   
This mystery is difficult. Waiting anxiously for this week’s answers once again. Thank you Art for the challenge and all the fun that followed. HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Dec 28 2014 Ted 10:32 PM

I knew this one was going to be a tough one and I still can’t figure it out, too many bridges near to each other, was trying to find something I could associate with, but no luck, something to go by. All I can say that I think it’s one of these three bridges. The Plainview Road Bridge, Nibble and the Powell Ave Bridge is the best I can do. This one is for the experts.

Dec 29 2014 frank femenias 8:41 PM

That’s a match!! Nice going guys.

Dec 29 2014 frank femenias 8:49 PM

Trying to understand why the workers have dug a trench along the roadside. Were they also installing a culvert for drainage? The present day drainage sump is in close proximity to where the photographer snapped the mystery.

Dec 30 2014 brian d mccarthy 1:40 PM

Your probably right about the drainage work, Frank. Pretty sure I can see the"top” of a culvert on the right of the road surface.

Dec 30 2014 Art Kleiner 9:02 PM

Thanks Frank.  Glad you enjoyed it.

Dec 31 2014 frank femenias 11:11 PM

Oh Sh__! (Shoot!) I think eagle-eyed Brians got something here. This could be the culvert investigated in a mystery before. It’s extremely close to location and definitely open for discussion. Howard, I’m sending a pic.

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