Jul 21 2014

Mystery Foto #77 Solved: The Motor Parkway Garage in Floral Park

Gary Hammond forwarded this week's really challenging Mystery Foto. The photo was part of an ad placed in George W. Richardson's 1911 publication Central Long Island and Its Attractions.

Mystery Foto questions:

-What was the location of the Motor Parkway Garage?

According to Floral Park Village Historian Walt Gosden:

The garage was on the south side of Jericho Tpke near Tyson Avenue (that is the Town of Hempstead - sorry!). There is a one block long street named for Van Siclen, it is one block west of Tyson Avenue (which is a major street). Van Siclen Avenue runs north /South and starts at Jericho Turnpike and ends at the Creedmore Spur parking lot (formerly the Creemore Spur rail road track that was part of A.T. Stewart's Central Railroad line.


The garage was not located on the Long Island Motor Parkway and was  approximately three miles from the nearest Motor Parkway Lodge.

It is located on a road that was part of the 1904 Vanderbilt Race Course.

The building is still standing today.

New Hint: The garage was not in Jericho. (Added on July 20, 2014)

-Who was the owner of the Motor Parkway Garage?

In 1911, the proprietor of the garage was A.D. Van Siclen. Van Siclen Avenue is located one block west of Tyson Avenue. As noted by Art Kleiner, the garage owner was Anton T. Smith, who was also a distributer fro Frontenac automobiles. According to my favorite co-author Al Velocci, by 1916 the garage was owned by the Stattel brothers.

Hint: A street is currently named for the family one block from the garage's location.

-Identify the two cars in front of the garage.

A little too blurry to be sure, but several good guesses in the below comments.

Congrats to Richard Skibins, Art Kleiner  and Greg O. for identifying the Floral Park location. Kudos to Art Kleiner for identifying the 1909 owner and the below research. Special huzzahs to Gary Hammond for a wonderful Mystery Foto submission.


Howard Kroplick

George W. Richardson's 1911 publication Central Long Island and Its Attractions.Courtesy of Gary Hammond.

It is possible the garage received its named because the original planned 1906 route for the Motor Parkway was from Floral Park to Riverhead.

Kleiner's Korner (Courtesy of Art Kleiner)

Brooklyn Eagle, 1909


Walt Gosden: "The Frontenac car was built in Newburgh, NY and was a fairly high horsepower car (45 hp ) and wasn't cheap $3,500 to $5,000. I can't imagine he sold any to anyone in Floral Park, including John Lewis Childs! They were made 1906 - 1913."

The Automobile, 1909

1914 Floral Park Map

The Motor Parkway Garage building in 2006

Now: 2014 Courtesy of Trevor Gosden


1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race Course


Jul 17 2014 Richard Skibins 11:32 PM

The Motor Parkway Garage was on Jericho Tpke by N. Tyson Ave. in Floral Park. Currently it houses Management Services Corp. and Cleopatra Gallery Furniture. According to the May 20, 1909 issue of the magazine The Automobile,” a publication issued in New York and Chicago, Anton T. Smith opened it.

Jul 18 2014 wendy 1:41 AM

Was it on Merritt Parkway?

Jul 18 2014 Ariejan Bos 10:30 AM

Not an easy puzzle, if it was only because of the coarse grid of the picture. The right car appears to be a 1909 Stevens-Duryea model X. The left car was slightly more challenging: first I thought of an EMF, but the car is too large. So I ended up with a 1910 Chalmers-Detroit model 30 and that seems to fit rather well.
On the basis of the info the garage must be located in Jericho, but that is as far I could get. The rest of the puzzle I must leave to others.

Jul 18 2014 Michael LaBarbera 11:10 AM

I haven’t a clue but I’d like to guess….Hicksville or Hempstead near the slowdown control sections of the race, or Garden City where many buildings like that still stand. I agree that the building would not be on the motor parkway since it was 1904 .... and I am at a loss for the makes of the cars as well, but fun stuff to ponder about.

Jul 18 2014 Tim Ivers 3:40 PM

Maltby’s Garage in Jericho

Jul 20 2014 Art Kleiner 10:10 PM

Howard, see the documentation I’m sending you via e-mail concerning the following.
What was the location of the Motor Parkway Garage?
Location is in Floral Park, at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Tyson Avenue.  Building today 160 Jericho Turnpike.  Map to be sent Howard indicates the garage next to a building owned by a Krug - any relation to the Krug’s Hotel? 

Who was the owner of the Motor Parkway Garage?
Documentation indicates the owner of the garage was Anton T. Smith, who ran the garage as an agency for Fontenac Pleasure Cars.  But I can’t find any streets nearby named for Smith.  There’s a Belmont, Vanderbilt, Whitney along with Van Siclen and Van Buren, but can’t find any connection of these to the garage.

Identify the two cars in front of the garage.
Since it was an agency for Frontenac and the pic is an ad, I’m assuming the cars are Frontenacs.

Jul 20 2014 Greg O. 10:52 PM

I’m stumped on this one, but while poking around on Google Streetview around where I’d thought it might be, I noticed similar architectural features on the building at 160 Jericho Tpke in Floral Park. There also happens to be notable family street names within a block or two, ie; Belmont, Whitney, Vanderbilt.
Too many guesses to list on the cars.

Jul 21 2014 frank femenias 2:22 PM

2.86 mi East from the Rocky Hill Lodge, the garage is located on Jericho Tpke between N/S Tyson, Van Siclen, Belmont Ave’s in Floral Park (See attached). Amazing revelation! My first search was to check near the 1904 Start/Finish line near Jericho (3 mi East from the Mineola Lodge). For the owner, I’m going with Belmont. The cars, I’ll leave it for the experts. This would’ve been nearly impossible without the hints. A real challenge but lots of fun! Thanks guys.

Jul 21 2014 S. Berliner, III 3:44 PM

Other than your hints and the size of the place, I haven’t a clue, but I’d bet it was a Hicks family garage on Hicksville Road in Hicksville.  Today’s heavily modified 86 No. Broadway?  Sam, III

Jul 22 2014 Ted 12:06 AM

Didn’t have a chance to get to this one. I would have been wrong anyway. I wasn’t thinking Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park and too many guesses for the cars

Jul 22 2014 Ariejan Bos 2:58 PM

As I didn’t know about the Frontenac agency, I researched this possiblity. There were two cars named Frontenac, the first produced from about 1906 to 1913 in Newburgh, NY, the other during the early ‘20s in Indianapolis. The last one is the Louis Chevrolet related Frontenac. For the photo only the early Frontenac is of interest of course. These Frontenacs were rather large 4 cylinder cars, all models having the same wheelbase as the Stevens-Duryea model X and were produced in low numbers. They had a relatively long and high hood however, with louvres over the full length, quite unlike the cars on the picture. Over the years they didn’t change significantly in appearance. Therefore it is my conclusion that neither of the cars can be a Frontenac and I maintain my above mentioned id’s.

Jul 27 2014 James & Gram Spina 7:08 AM

Three short blocks from my own house in Floral Park! I’m mortified I couldn’t ID this especially since the Creedmore Spur was my abandoned Railroad playspot as a kid and in its current state it is a favored walk for me and my son Gram.

Leave a Comment