May 08 2017

Mystery Foto #18 Solved: A Garden City Park Home With “Motor Parkway-Like” Concrete Fence-Posts

My favorite co-author Al Velocci challenged you to solve this weekend's impossible Mystery Foto.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Link the Mystery Foto to the Long Island Motor Parkway.

Concrete fence-posts similar to those used for the Motor Parkway were used to hold a wooden fence around the house. The house was built in 1924, three years after the first concrete fence-posts were installed on the Motor Parkway.

  • What is the location of this house? Hint: The property is located in Garden City Park within a 1/4 mile of the Garden City Water District building, featured in last week's Mystery Foto. I warned you that this Mystery Foto is impossible!

The house is located at the intersection of Central Avenue and Seventh Street in Garden City Park. Although the origin of the concrete fence-posts surrounding this property is a mystery to the current owner, Al Velocci recalls the day he discovered this house. Was it a dream?

Comments (12)

Congrats to Greg O., Michael LaBarbera, Ted!!, Steve Lucas, Brian McCarthy, Art Kleiner, Frank Mendyk and Rich Stark for identifying the "Motor Parkway-like" concrete fence-pposts surrounding this Garden City Park property.

Super Kudos to Rich Stark, Fran Mendyk and Greg O. for finding this impossible location.


Howard Kroplick

A Motor Parkway Fable by Al Velocci

In 1991, while looking for a short-cut from Denton Avenue in Garden City Park to Marcus Avenue, I came across this house that was fenced in by what appeared to me to be concrete posts that were similar to those used on the Motor Parkway.  There was a woman tending to her garden at the time so I stopped, introduced myself, and told her of my interest in the fence posts.  She told me an astounding story of William K. Vanderbilt being responsible for the posts around the property.  What?...How?...When?  This is the story her grandmother told her. 

 In the early 1920’s, Vanderbilt had just completed a round of golf at the Links Club and after having lunch and on his way to his car, he was surprised to see the waitress that had served him lunch, walking a horse from the rear of the clubhouse towards Shelter Rock Road.  He politely asked if she was going for a ride and she answered no.  She, in fact, was going home – on horseback.  More astoundingly, she told Vanderbilt her grandfather, Oliver Quoile, had worked for the Motor Parkway as a construction foreman during the building of the bridge over Old Court House Road.  And starting to cry at this point, told Vanderbilt, he disappeared, never to be seen again.  At the end of that workday, the foreman assigned to the bridge over Shelter Rock Road came by looking for Oliver and said the last he saw of Oliver was that morning when he descended into the forms put in place for the embankment walls of the bridge.  Quoile did so to check that the forms were properly constructed as they were going to pour cement that day.  Everyone assumed he was busy elsewhere.  In any event, he was never seen again.  Vanderbilt asked how far she had to go to reach home.  She told him about a mile and was saving up money to buy a car since the horse was continually breaking loose wandering around the neighborhood as the fencing around the barn was bad. Vanderbilt, in an “oh-oh” moment, offers to send over a parkway crew over to her home to see what could be done to alleviate the problem.  You can guess the rest. 

 Not only was the fence using repaired parkway posts, but the gate to the stable area was replaced with one of the toll gates used on the Parkway.  It was set up so that a weight attached to a cord connected to the gate was the height of a person on a horse and when released, dropped the weight releasing the gate when leaving the yard. The next time I go over to the Old Courthouse Road Bridge, I’m going to look very carefully at the bases on the embankments.




May 05 2017 Greg O. 7:27 AM

This house actually has LIMP fencing around it. To me, this explains why many people think some LIMP posts are turned the wrong way. The post holes facing the roadway had wooden rails, whereas the posts with holes parallel to the roadway had twisted metal railings. On our recent outing to Garden City, I came across a post with a nut and bolt still through it, seeing the original design here explains it.

Now where could this house be?...

May 05 2017 Michael LaBarbera 10:16 AM

Very clever use of the motor parkway posts using the 3 holes to allow the fence to bolt up to them, however, the path of the parkway would be incongruent to the road, as the holes would have to line up to allow the ribbon and not all face out, so they must have been relocated to this house.  Can’t wait for this answer. Good one !!

May 07 2017 Ted 1:16 AM

My best guess on this is that the posts from the Long Island Motor Parkway,I think are being used for the fence,which makes it unusual. As for the rest of it,I’m not even going to attempt it.

May 07 2017 LMK 6:47 PM

Well it for certain was right off the LIMP , that’s the easy part…Maybe it was a toll house? I’m certain the more knowledgeable than I will chime in….

May 07 2017 Steve Lucas 7:47 PM

Obviously, the fence posts were at one time on the ROW for the L I Motor Parkway. The question is who would have the ability to acquire and transport that many posts to their own property. My first thought was Art Kleiner; then possibly Marty Himes; but neither of them is in the GCP Water District. Probably in the vicinity of Denton Ave. - Old Courthouse Rd. - Marcus Ave.  Can’t wait for the answer.

May 07 2017 Brian D McCarthy 11:06 PM

Even with the updated hints stating that this house is in Garden City Park, I couldn’t locate it. I utilized the following website;  http;// to attempt finding the address. I searched thru the vicinity of Garden City Park and some outer areas, twice; but no luck. The closer you zoom into the area, the property lines display. When you click on the property, a photo of the house will display. I have no doubt that this house is in Garden City Park. Sure some of you will know the location.

* Whoever lives here utilized LIMP boundary posts to support the fence, for the most part.

* The 2nd photo shows the other house on the side road. #27?

I don’t like throwing the towel in, but this one has me beat.

May 08 2017 Brian D McCarthy 8:52 AM

This is my final attempt with this mystery. A 1/4 mile of The Garden City Water District address will lead to….Garden City Park, Herricks, North New Hyde Park, and possibly New Hyde Park. These towns/villages share the same zip code 11040.

I remember a newspaper article concerning the LIMP. The article stated that Al Velocci is/was a resident of New Hyde Park. Is this house with the LIMP boundary posts supporting the wood fence associated with Mr. Velocci?


May 08 2017 Art Kleiner 9:53 AM

Hint was where I was going to base my efforts on after doing some initial thinking.  Not at home this weekend (been researching additional Dead Man’s Curves) and have limited time so not going to be able to do as much research as usual.  Posts used to support fences must have been Motor Parkway fences.

May 08 2017 Greg O. 10:27 AM

The house is located on the Southwest corner of 7th Street and Central Ave in Garden City Park. The only connection I can see is that it is using Motor Parkway posts for it’s fence.

May 08 2017 frank femenias 4:37 PM

This house/fence is/was located on a south east corner somewhere in Garden City Park. So far unable to locate, as I’ve been warned it’s impossible to find. I came across a house of similar construction but it’s not the same one. There are so many clues in the photo, I shall continue to search a little more. I believe I’ll be looking forward to this week’s answers

May 08 2017 Frank mendyk 5:18 PM

The location of the house is at Central Ave and Seventh Street, Garden City Park.
My speculation on the relationship of the posts to the parkway is that the owner of the house removed the posts after the close of the parkway in 1938. The owner could of been a worker or contractor who removed the many bridges, overpasses, sections, and etc. after the close. The posts could of been obtained during the building of many of the new housing developments in the area next to the parkway during the 50’s.

May 08 2017 Howard Kroplick 9:54 PM

Rich Stark:

The house in mystery photo #18 is located at Central Ave. and Seventh Street, Garden City Park.  The wooden fence around the house is attached to what appears to be concrete motor parkway fence posts.  The house was built in 1924 which is two years before the order for 5,000 posts were placed with Wallace M. Hendrick for the parkway extension.  I’m guessing he had some connection to this house.

Rich Stark,
Rocky Point

May 09 2017 Brian D McCarthy 12:01 AM

I knew a few could locate this house, Congratulations! Now knowing the location, I viewed the house on the “” website, Land Record Viewer. When you zoom in closer to a location, an aerial will display; and you can see rooftops and property lines. I clicked onto this house, and a frontal view is displayed. The house hasn’t changed much ( White fence w/concrete posts looks great. The “overhang” between the fencing/walkway towards the front door isn’t there in the photo. I don’t know how current the info on the website is. A 2012 streetview displays the house exactly how it looks here.)

May 09 2017 Paul DiNatale 4:52 AM

i lived in that area since 1953 and never knew about it.  great story;.i took a visual tour on bing maps and notice the property has extended beyond the fence but the posts remain.  it probably was the area for the barn accessway. the woman is probably my age (60 and up) and her mother was the girl on the i now live in arizona but if i go back for a visit i would love to ride by the place before it eventually gets sold and torn down and subdivided which is happening all throughout the area. keep a eye out for for sale signs and try to raise money to buy the fenceposts which i would gladly contribute to.

May 09 2017 Michael LaBarbera 9:17 AM

Seems that the real mystery here is not the posts, but her grandfather, Oliver Quoile, who may very well be an integral part of the Old Courthouse Road Bridge to this day.

May 09 2017 frank femenias 1:59 PM

Thanks Al for sharing the LIMP post house story; randomly found during a short-cut maneuver no less. Fantastic!! I’ll be visiting very soon

May 09 2017 S. Berliner, III 5:36 PM

Central Avenue reminds me that I once saw LIMP posts with two or three holes, perpendicular to the RoW, which held bolts and boards instead of twist wire.  I forget where they were and can’t find my pix - sorry.  The green ones in Queens with bolts through single holes are similar.  This reminds me of the times I went scurrying to see newly-discovered LIMP posts reported found at the east side of the Williston or Albertson LIRR station and again at the north side of the circle at the north end of Bethpage State Parkway - NO WAY were they LIMP posts!.  I also remember once being strong enough to lift one end of a 6’ long 3-hole post I rescued from being trashed at Half Hollow Hills and hoisting it into my trunk by myself (whew! - a LI friend now has it for safe-keeping).  Sam, III

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