Nov 18 2019

Mystery Foto #46 Solved:A View of the Motor Parkway looking West from the Officials’ Stand/Press Box

Did you identify another section of the Motor Parkway that was used for the Vanderbilt Cup Races?

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

  • Where is the location of the Mystery Foto and orientation of the photographer?

​Looking west from a top of Officials'Stand/Press Box in the Hempstead Plains (now Levittown).

  • Which Vanderbilt Cup Races were run in this section?

​1908, 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races, the 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes, and the associated 1909 and 1910 sweepstakes races.

  • Identify the significant buildings and Motor Parkway structures

​Newbridge Road Motor Parkway Bridge, the Newbridge Hotel and the Ladenburg Windmill. Construction of the grandstand pits and the barbed wire fence around the Officials' Stand Press Box can also be seen.

  • What was the appropriate month and date of the Mystery Foto? Provide a rationale.

​My best guess is September to early October 1908 prior to the Motor Parkway Sweepstakes held on  October 10, 1908. Rationale: Posts have been installed and construction shed still in place.

Comments (9)

Congrats to Greg O., Michael LaBarbera, Tim Ivers, Brian McCarthy, Steve Lucas, Frank Mendyk and Frank Femenias for identifying the correct Hempstead Plains location.

Kudos to Greg O., Michael LaBarbera, Tim Ivers, Brian McCarthy and Frank Mendyk for identifying the Newbridge Road Motor Parkway Bridge and the Newbridge Hotel.


Howard Kroplick


The Mystery Foto was taken from atop the Officials Stand/Press Box seen here.

The Newbridge Road Motor Parkway Bridge and the Newbridge Hotel

Look carefully and you can seen the Ladenburg windmill in East Meadow


Nov 15 2019 Greg O. 8:18 AM

-Where is the location of the Mystery Foto and orientation of the photographer?
This photo was taken looking West from the Press Box/Officials Stand in the Hempstead Plains (now Levittown.)

-Which Vanderbilt Cup Races were run in this section?
1908, ‘09, ‘10

-Identify the significant buildings and Motor Parkway structures
Newbridge Rd bridge,The New Bridge Hotel on Newbridge Road

-What was the appropriate month and date of the Mystery Foto? Provide a rationale.
October 1908 LIMP completed, but race not run yet.

Nov 15 2019 Michael LaBarbera 12:04 PM

Great picture looking west at the grandstand area and the pits before they were built. Sometime around early 1908. You can see the layout for the pressbox on the other side. Looking into the distance is the Newbridge road bridge and the Newbridge Hotel. Also in the distance is the Westbury Road Bridge and the Ladenburg Farm windmill in the background.

Nov 16 2019 Tim ivers 2:03 PM

Looking west from Levittown grandstand area.
Turning left (south) in area now known as Orchid Road then right at Newbridge Road
with Newbridge Hotel visible.
1908-1910 races on this stretch.

Nov 17 2019 S. Berliner, III 12:03 PM

Hmm.  That open patch seems too small for the grandstand and no sign of the press box.  Pits?  Other clues?  Can’t make out details but that big porch rules out Garden City with the Clinton bridge beyond.  Early construction - see the water pipe at right.  I have to assume that’s the omni-present Ladenburgh windmiill on the horizon.  Pass.  Sam, III

Nov 17 2019 Brian D McCarthy 5:43 PM

*Location & direction of Foto:  A broadly west view in Hempstead Plains/Levittown NY.

*Races held here:  1908, 1909 & 1910 Vanderbilt Cup.

*Buildings & Structures:  Noted on the map attached.

*Date of Foto:  My thoughts - Think this photo was taken from the Press Box. Both the Grandstand & Officials Stand/Press Box were built by Sept 1908 ( the attached image ). The attached image shows no guard railing. But railing must have been erected by Oct 10 ( sweepstakes images show railing ). The sheds I see were likely for the road crews, maybe outhouses? Have to go to the bathroom somewhere. My answer is early October 1908.

image image
Nov 17 2019 Steve Lucas 8:15 PM

We’re looking west in the Hempstead Plains (now Levittown) with the Newbridge Road LIMP bridge in the distance along with the Newbridge Hotel. This section was used for the 1908, 1909, and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races. In addition to the bridge, we’re also looking at the remains of the grandstand, pits, and parking area. I think the photo was taken from the Press Box / Officials Stand. Since the grandstand is down and the press box was still up, the date is probably around November / December, 1910.

Nov 18 2019 Frank Mendyk 4:20 PM

LIMP - Hempstead Plains now Levittown looking west towards Newbridge Rd.
1908 -1910 Vanderbilt Cup races where held at the location
Grandstands and pit areas for the 1908 cup race now Orchid and Crocus Lane Levittown
The parkway looks new and most likely just completed in either September or October 1908.  Photo was taken from the original building/grandstand at the location
The LIMP Newbridge Rd bridge and the New Bridge Hotel can be seen in the distance

Nov 18 2019 frank femenias 5:49 PM

Whoa! Almost missed this. Island Trees/Levittown, site of Grandstand/Press stand looking west. Newbridge bridge and hotel in the distance. 1908-10 VCR. Soon before 1908 race. Grandstand construction pic? Never seen this one before, awesome views!!! Where is everybody?

Nov 18 2019 frank femenias 6:11 PM

Great shot of the curve. Don Reilly riding his childhood bike on “Old Motor” was inquiring 3 weeks ago what it may have looked like in its glory. Great photo Howard.

Nov 18 2019 frank femenias 11:22 PM

Some say the photo is during the 1908 race construction, others say it’s after the 1910 race demolition. I believe it’s earlier. Which is it?

Nov 19 2019 Brian D McCarhy 11:14 AM

Hi Frank. If an image of the area can be found where the shed is ( south & west ) removed during the races, then we would know for sure that the Foto is 1908 thru 1910. If an image shows the shed existing, there couldn’t be a way to know if this Foto was earlier or later. As I zoomed in, the boundary fence is diverted ( entire shed is within the ROW ). That rectangular bare area on the same side ‘appears significant’, but I know the grandstand was just east of where the guardrail ends. Were those really rest areas that I pointed out?

Nov 19 2019 frank femenias 6:32 PM

Brian - What sold me that photo was taken before the 1908 race is how the grass on the south side by the boundary fence is still untouched. If I remember correctly Al Velocci once said the property south of the RoW was leased for the placement of the grandstand. If this photo was taken after 1910, that section of grass would show dirt after demolition. Based on photos, I know the Official’s Stand was built roughly centered to the larger Grandstand, and also centered to the mechanic’s pits. That cleared-out dirt section on the south side could be initial construction for the west pits, and the Grandstand would eventually extend 50ft south beyond the LIMP boundary fence that is still in place. Besides all this the parkway looks new, no tire marks.

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