Feb 23 2013

The Motor Parkway Toll Collection Structures: #9 Garden City Lodge

Going west to east, the eighth Motor Parkway toll collection structure was the Garden City Lodge located off  Clinton Road in Garden City.

 The last of the six Motor Parkway lodges designed by architect John Russell Pope, the Garden City Lodge was approved by William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. in April 1911 and completed three months later.

The Garden City Lodge is one of only five Motor Parkway toll collection structures still partially or completely intact. It is the only completely restored Motor Parkway lodge and now serves as the Garden City Chamber of Commerce on Seventh Street.


Howard Kroplick

1907 Survey

The 0.670 acres for the Garden City Lodge and the General Manager's Office were obtained by the Motor Parkwayfrom the heirs of Irish entrepreneur Alexander Tunney (A.T.) Stewart.

1911 Blueprints

The original design of the Garden City Lodge by John Russell Pope did not include the porte-cochere. Following objections by the general manager Alfred Kienzle, the outside cover was added to the design.

Russell's design for Garden City was identical to the Roslyn and Great Neck Lodges. The lodge had accommodations for the lodge keeper and his/her family.

1914 Belcher-Hyde Map

The entrance to the lodge was off Clinton Road and just north of Stewart Avenue.

1927 Aerial

The 1927 aerial looking north showing the relationship among the Garden City Lodge, Clinton Road, Stewart Avenue, Curtiss Engineering Company and Curtiss Field.

The Garden City Lodge with the porte-cochere.

1929 Photo

Christian Ernst became the Garden City Lodge keeper in 1928. Christian and his daughter Emma seen at the lodge in 1929. (Courtesy of Emma "Peggy" Ernst Williams).

1930 Photo

Elizabeth Ernst and her dog.

1938 Aerial

1950 Aerials

1950s Image

After the parkway closed, the lodge was purchased by the Ernsts for $1,500 in 1939. It would be their home until 1977, when they sold it to a local realtor.

1970s Images

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, ownership changed several times.

1980s Image

By 1987, the condition of the lodge had deteriorated and the new owner planned to tear it down for the construction of a new house. The Garden City Chamber of Commerce and Village of Garden City stepped up and approached the builder to acquire the lodge and have it moved to the village.Taylor Warner Real Estate agreed to donate the lodge in 1988.

March 13, 1989 (Photos courtesy of John Ellis Kordes)

After raising over $225,000 from community businesses, the lodge was moved in March 1989.

The lodge moving down Franklin Avenue to its new location behind a police escort.

In front of its new location at 230 Seventh Street.

Current View

The restored Garden City Lodge as it looks today. The Garden City Chamber of Commerce maintains a small museum of parkway images and related memorabilia in the building's basement.


Feb 24 2013 frank 2:59 AM

Fantastic story behind the Garden City Lodge and the pictures. Wish all the LIMP structures had the same result.

Feb 24 2013 Lou 8:27 AM

That was close. If not for them deciding to move it and restore it , all we would have left of it would be the old pictures.

Feb 24 2013 James 8:36 AM

Gram wants you to know that he loved these pictures and the timeline is fantastic. The information is easily cause for a nice small roadtrip today. Any thoughts on what the seemingly abandoned road or railway leading up toward the current location of the toll house is? Gram loves exploring over there!

Feb 24 2013 Mark P. 9:48 AM

fascinating stuff Howard, thanks as always!  growing up in Garden City and visiting my dad’s office right there on 7th Street (it’s actually in 1 of the pics!) i never realized the history i was around until i started following your page within the last few months.  i am now obsessed!!

Feb 25 2013 Brian D McCarthy 6:11 PM

Pretty sure I can make out the 2 steel towers that are on either side the limp in the 1938 photo. It’s still the same configuration.

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