Feb 08 2009

In Search of the Nassau Boulevard Toll Booth: Part I

As described in the book The Long Island Motor Parkway, the Motor Parkway was extended three miles in the late 1920s from Rocky Hill Road (Springfield Boulevard) to Nassau Boulevard (later renamed Horace Harding Boulevard). The above image of a rare 1928 Motor Parkway brochure (courtesy of Robert Harrington) promoted the new entrance at Fresh Meadows. Note the illustration of the toll booth crossing the entire road.


According to the Motor Parkway's 1929 "Report of Toll Lodge Receipts" (courtesy of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum), there were two "toll lodges" located in Queens at the entrances of Nassau Boulevard and Rocky Hill Road (Springfield Boulevard).


The Rocky Hill Road Toll Booth officially opened on July 1, 1928. It was located approximately 600 feet east of present-day Springfield Boulevard. Although the toll receipt said "Rocky Hill Road Lodge", it was clearly only a toll booth.


This September 8, 1937 aerial photo of Alley Pond Park is absolutely fascinating (Click on the image for an enlarged view). The construction of the extension of Union Turnpike can be seen in the lower left corner. Just above the turnpike is a section of the then still-active Long Island Motor Parkway with its bridge over Winchester Boulevard. Running diagonally across the photo is Grand Central Parkway. Note: The many cars on this toll-free road as compared to the completely empty Motor Parkway. Further proof that the Motor Parkway was in deep financial trouble. Finally, the upper left section of the photo shows the Motor Parkway near Springfield Boulevard. Let's take a closer look.



I believe these two 1937 images (left looking west and right looking east) show the first aerials of the Rocky Hill Road Toll Booth. Note the entrance and exit ramps leading to Springfield Boulevard.

As described in Al Velocci's wonderful book "The Toll Lodges of the Long Island Motor Parkway, and Their Gatekeepers' Lives", builder Benjamin Haab was contracted to build the Rocky Hill and Nassau Boulevard toll booths for $2,380 each. Al notes the new toll collection structure at Nassau Boulevard was opened on July 1, 1928, but "never manned". Al asked the great question: "Why bother building a tollbooth and assign a lodge designation to that entrance?" After years of LIMP and Vanderbilt Cup Races research and viewing thousands of photos, I also wondered why a photo of the Nassau Boulevard Toll Booth has never surfaced?

I decided to dig deeper. My findings and amazing images will be posted in Part II.

Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com:

Archives: Long Island Motor Parkway- The Western Terminus in Fresh Meadows, Queens

Long Island Motor Parkway Toll Lodges

Long Island Motor Parkway- Queens

Index: Long Island Motor Parkway


Feb 09 2009 Dennis Kelly 9:26 AM

I can’t wait to hear about this!

Feb 12 2009 Howard Kroplick 8:50 PM


As described in Part III, it is my opinion that there never was a Nassau Boulevard Toll Booth that straddled the Motor Parkway in Fresh Meadows, but a small kiosk that was never manned.



Leave a Comment