Monday, April 4, 2011

Is this the Belt or the GCP?


A brief glimpse of what was then a progressive concept in transportation: a parkway. It doesn't look it, but it's located in Greater New York. My grandfather filmed these scenes in the 1940's. He didn't note the exact location, but it appears to be The Belt Parkway somewhere along Jamaica Bay in the Borough of Queens - or is it Grand Central Parkway near Willow Lake in Queens?

The black and white "mystery highway" appears to be in Queens also, or further out on Long Island. Grand Central Parkway, perhaps?

Robert W. Martens
March, 2011

11 comments:

Joe said...

That may be close to the water for Willow or Meadow lake
That may be Lake Success before part of it was filled in to create lake front property known as lake road and westcliff drive and the golf course today.
Did the GCP and belt ever have wooden luminary's in Queens ? I pretty sure its was just a Long Island beach-Nassau county thing

The overpass shot is likely the old Motor Parkway bridge off Lakeville road There was a gas station to the west of it.
This all would be a couple hundred feet walking distance

The gas station would now be part of the widened Northern State Parkway roadway eastbound Lakville road exit lane.

Anonymous said...

checkout "FREEDOM LAND " in the Bronx in the 1960's.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Cross Island, right next to what became the LIE (Bayside).

Anonymous said...

This is definitely the GCP looking Manhattan-bound near 111 St. That small building on the left I am pretty positive is now the Dunkin Donuts/Gas station. Also the hillside on the left is still there and has recently been cleared of trees. The land around the Belt Pkwy doesn't have a hill like that.

georgetheatheist said...

How bucolic!. Can you imagine a median of that width today?

CntrySigns said...

My Dad said that the belt parkway as we know it today was actually called the shore parkway and that there are 4 or 5 road ways that surround queens like a belt which was called the Belt Parkway. So maybe both answers are right. I found this link for Wikipedia that doesn't seem to sure of it self either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_Parkway
I'll ask my Dad to take a look when he gets home and post again if I have more info.

Anonymous said...

George, Take a ride on the Conduit in Brooklyn.

Liman said...

Joe, it's not Lake Success. Too close to the road, and the Lake has a higher elevation that the Parkway.

But that could be the Motor Parkway bridge Moses was obliged to build for the GCP.

I recall wooden lightpoles on Parkways as a kid.

I thought the lake might be one of the Alley Ponds left after Cross Island construction, because it looks like Little Neck Bay in the distance, but I can't see any sign of Northern Blvd.

Steve Anderson said...

Anonymous #2 looks to be correct. It's the Cross Island Parkway looking north toward Little Neck at the future site of the LIE interchange. The pond on the right looks like it may have been filled in prior to the construction of the LIE interchange. There was a gas station (I recall it as an American/Amoco when I was very young) on the southbound lanes, but no gas station northbound. The gas station was torn down before 1980.

Paul DiBenedetto said...

Yes Steve, that was me before, I wasn't logged in today so just posted anonymously.
I think it's Great Neck off to the right in the video, with the original freshwater Alley Pond next to the Cross Island. The pond was in a few movies back in the early 20th century, including I believe a D.W. Griffiths film. This was one of the first areas ever settled in Bayside and had a mill and general store, at least one of which was still there even in 1940.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the cross island existed then, nor did the White-stone bridge or Throgs-neck? Do someone know?