One of the first bridges built by the Long Island Motor Parkway was captured in a 1939 aerial view in last Sunday's post. Here's a Then & Now of the curved "Meadowbrook Bridge" in East Meadow built for the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race:
This Belcher-Hyde map shows the route of the Long Island Motor Parkway around Mrs. Emily Ladenburg's property. The map shows the Long Island Motor Parkway Bridge went over Bellmore Road in the area called Meadowbrook. The Meadowbrook Racetrack was located north of the Ladenburg property. As Art K. commented last Sunday, south of the Motor Parkway, Bellmore Road was called Newbridge Avenue and later changed to East Meadow Avenue to avoid confusion with Newbridge Road. I was raised in East Meadow and still confuse these two roads even today!!
The Meadowbrook Bridge was built in time to be used as part of the first Vanderbilt Cup Race course held partially on the Motor Parkway. This view was looking southeast of the Meadowbrook Bridge soon after it opened in 1908. The distinctive windmill of the Landenburg property can be seen in the background. It was a virtual oasis of trees in the barren Hempstead Plains.
Then: October 30 1909
A view looking northeast of the bridge during the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race. The #6 Apperson driven by Hugh Harding was passing a group of spectators
Then: October 1, 1910
The bridge was the scene of a tragic accident during the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Driver Harold Stone lost control of his Columbia racer trying to make the curve on the bridge at speed. The car ran off the bridge killing the mechanician Matthew Bacon. Although some newspapers announced his death, Stone survived and was able to recover from his injuries.
The fence barrier broken by Stone was located at the top of the bridge.
This newspaper image captured the crowd scene around the accident at the foot of the Meadowbrook Bridge.
This accident and another fatal accident by Louis Chevrolet's car during the 1910 race resulted in the end of the Vanderbilt Cup Races on Long Island.
Then: August 8, 1938
This 1938 aerial shows the Motor Parkway in East Meadow. The Long Island Motor Parkway runs parallel to Stewart Avenue. Merrick Avenue is the north/south road on the left. The Central Railroad right-of-way is on the bottom of the aerial.
Roosevelt Raceway can be seen north of the Motor Parkway. The Merrick Avenue Motor Parkway Bridge and the entrance to the Meadowbrook Lodge were seen on the lower right corner of this aerial.
This close-up highlights the Motor Parkway around the Ladenburg property. The Meadowbrook Bridge was on the left followed by the bridge over Stewart Avenue in the center. Note the golf greens of the Salisbury Links, now part of the Eisenhower Park golf courses.
A current Google Earth image showing the location of the Motor Parkway, the Meadowbrook Lodge and the Motor Parkway bridges.
In the early 1940s, the Meadowbrook Bridge was taken down. As seen today looking south, Salisbury Park Drive was built over the Long Island Motor Parkway right-of-way.The cross-road is "Ladenburg Drive" in honor of the former property owners.
The view looking north on Salisbury Park Drive. Very few people on Long Island and, even in East Meadow, know that this road was part of the historic Vanderbilt Cup Races courses.
Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com: