Aug 30 2010

Then & Now: The Motor Parkway in Wheatley Hills Golf Club, East Williston

Last Sunday, we explored the history of the Motor Parkway right-of-way that virtually split the Wheatley Hills Golf Course in East Williston. In order to obtain this East Williston right-of-way, the Motor Parkway purchased the entire 68-acre farm of William Titus in 1909. Four years later, the property was sold or leased to develop a golf club which became Wheatley Hills. For many years, LIMPers asked the question, do any remnants of the Motor Parkway still remain on this private property?



A comparison of the 1928 aerial (top) and 1984 aerial (bottom; courtesy of the Village of East Williston) indiicates that not much of the original Motor Parkway remains. The highest probable remnant areas are the very northerly area that goes east/west, the middle area where a farmway bridge connected the split golf course and the southernly area near East Williston Road . Remember the click on the image to enlarge it.

With the approval of the Wheatley Hills Golf Club and with the assistance of East Williston Mayor Nancy Zolezzi and her husband Joe Zolezzi, Al Velocci and I received permission to tour the course in search of the Parkway. Here are our findings of the journey that Al and I took with Joe Zolezzi earlier this month:


We first headed north in our two expedition golf carts. Al and I were quite pleased to find out the Club had honored the Long Island Motor Parkway with a plaque.


The plaque reads:


A portion of the original Vanderbilt Motor Parkway still exists at this location. The Motor Parkway constructed during the years 1906-1910 was closed on Easter Sunday 1938 as the Northern and Southern State parkways became available to Long Island motorists.


As seen here, the cart path near the plaque was built right over the Motor Parkway roadway. Note behind the cart path, the ever-present LIPA utility lines, which follow a good portion of the Motor-Parkway right-of way throughout Nassau County.


Although Al and I found no remnants of the Motor Parkway bridge that connected the middle sections of the golf course, as we headed south towards the clubhouse, the cart path was once again directly placed on the Motor Parkway roadway.


Once again, the LIPA utility tower and lines help to spot the Motor Parkway right-of-way.


Corrected: May 7, 2012: Finally, Joe, Al and I explored the southern area where the above Motor Parkway bridge connected the west and east side of the golf course. Photo circa 1930s courtesy of Bob Valentine.


As seen here, the bridge embankment on the north side of East Williston Road is still there with several relocated Motor Parkway concrete posts marking the spot.

Thanks again to the Wheatley Hills Golf Club, Mayor Nacy Zolezzi and Joe Zolezzi for helping to make a wonderful research day for Al and me!


Howard Kroplick


Sep 06 2010 Art K. 7:19 AM

Thank you Howard for the information.  Nice to see the Motor Parkway remembered.

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