Apr 05 2011

The Story of the “Four” Brentwood Toll Lodges (1911-1934)


A few days ago, a wise gentleman asked me how come the last "Brentwood" Lodge was not located in Brentwood and why was it was described last week as the "last" one? Excellent questions that were answered by my favorite co-author Al Velocci's in his solo book 'The Toll Lodges of the Long Island Motor Parkway, and Their Gatekeeper' Lives". With Al's permission, this is the story of the four, yes four, Brentwood Lodges.



Brentwood Lodge #1 -Kiosk (1911-1915) Washington Avenue, Brentwood

This was the original Brentwood Lodge, really only a ticket kiosk, on the southwest corner in 1911, looking east. The man standing on the unpaved Motor Parkway was toll collector Thomas O'Rourke. Al Velocci commented on this "lodge" which eventually closed in 1915:

The fact is the Parkway placed the Brentwood Lodge here simply because they had an obligation to do so. In November 1907 the Brentwood Park Land Improvement Company had donated a strip of land one hundred feet wide and almost a half-mile in length to the Parkway to be used as the right-of-way. The gift, however, was subject to several conditions. The most prominent of these required the Parkway to provide an entrance from Washington Avenue and a lodge with the Brentwood designation.



Brentwood Lodge #2 -Kiosk (1922-1923)- Commack Road, Commack

By 1922, the Motor Parkway decided to build a new toll collection structure at the very busy intersection in Commack. The kiosk from Washington Avenue was relocated on the northeast corner of the intersection of Commack Road and the Motor Parkway, the current location of the Bonwit Inn. Al Velocci notes:

The location was always known as the Brentwood Lodge; in Parkway correspondence it was usually more accurately described as the Brentwood Lodge at Commack Road... Why not call it the Commack Lodge? Because, the Parkway had a legal obligation to maintain the Brentwood Lodge designation.. Evidently the language of the Brentwood Park Land Improvement convenant was such that ...the Brentwood Lodge designation could be separated from the actual Washington Avenue entrance.



Brentwood Lodge #3 -Toll Lodge (1923-1928) Commack Road, Commack

A permanent toll lodge with living accomodations was built on the southeast corner of Commack Road and the Motor Parkway.



Brentwood Lodge #4 -Tollgate (1928-1934) Commack Spur Road, Commack

 

With the anticipated completion of the Commack Spur Road connecting Jericho Turnpike and the Motor Parkway in 1928, the "last" Brentwood Lodge was built at a 45- degree angle in the intersection. As shown in this 1928-1930 aerial, the tollgate allowed tolls to be collected from both the Commack Spur and the Motor Parkway.The "lodge" was also known as the Smithtown Lodge or the Smithtown Gate.



 

 

When the Motor Parkway closed in 1938, the structure was purchased by local resident Joseph Carll. He moved it to the adjacent parcel of land where he removed his primary interest- the 8 foot by 12 foot ticket booth. As seen in 1964, he left the remains in a field just east of Commack Road and north of the Motor Parkway. Note: Across the middle of the roof was the word "STOP".

For more Motor Parkway toll lodge information, I highly recommend Al Velocci’s excellent book "The Toll Lodges of the Long Island Motor Parkway, and Their Gatekeepers' Lives", Al can be reached at umvel@aol.com. Only a few copies of the book remain available for purchase.



Links to related VanderbiltCupRaces.com posts:

VanderbiltCupRaces.com Exclusive: Images of The Last Brentwood Lodge & the Commack Spur Road

The 20 Toll Collection Structures of the Long Island Motor Parkway

Archives: Toll Lodges

Ron Ridolph Collection: Images of the Long Island Motor Parkway

Archives: Long Island Motor Parkway



Comments

Apr 10 2011 Joseph (Motorpky) Debono 5:20 AM

Howard:  When the “Mason Ole Restaurant” was built, It was built to be another type of restauant, many years ago. It was never a Toll Lodge. Howard And Al “Keep up the good work, This is the best”.  Joseph (Motorpky) DeBono

Apr 10 2011 Howard Kroplick 10:14 PM

Hi Joe:

I spoke to Al this evening and he now agrees with you that the Mason Ole restaurant was never part of a Motor Parkway Lodge.

Howard

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