Some 100 golfers turned out in support of the Toll Lodge Preservation Association's Sixth Annual Golf Outing, which was held at the Colonial Springs Golf Club in Farmingdale. The outings have been held each year since 1922 to create funding toward the ongoing restoration and preservation of the historic Garden City Toll Lodge, the last vestige of William K. Vanderbilt's Long Island Motor Parkway.
Vanderbilt had constructed the 48-mile parkway, opened in 1911, as a private road for racing, pleasure driving and testing new automobiles. The parkway, the very first in the world, and first limited access automobile highway of its kind, served as a model for the parkways, interstates, and speedways in the United States, Germany, and Italy that were constructed in the 1920s and 1930s. There were 12 toll lodges along the route of Vanderbilt's parkway, providing access to the parkway. The Garden City Toll Lodge, has been authentically restored and represents the last remaining link to that history.
Described by former Mayor Brian Deveney, Toll Lodge Preservation Association Board member, as "the jewel in the Garden," the Garden City Toll Lodge stood for 78 years at its original site of Clinton Road, adjacent to the Parkway headquarters. The once elegant little Toll Lodge, of the French Provincial Style, and designed by John Russell Pope, one of America's most prominent architects of the day, had fallen into disuse and was awaiting the wrecking ball when, in 1989, the Garden City Chamber of Commerce moved it, forming the Toll Lodge Preservation Association to oversee restoration and maintenance.
The Chamber, through the TLPA, has born the entire cost of the move, as well as the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Lodge. Financial support has come from bank loans and donations, and in no way involves any influx of Village taxpayers' dollars. Rather, all of this is being accomplished through the generosity and tireless efforts of businesses and citizens of Garden City and nearby communities. Local and regional banks, corporations, financial firms, retailers and individuals have donated monetary support, goods and services. Volunteer citizens provide countless hours of physical and administrative help.
The Garden City Toll Lodge is the home of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce. It houses a lower-level conference room, which also serves as the Long Island Motor Parkway Photographic Museum and includes Parkway memorabilia. The Museum was created by John Ellis Kordes, photographer and historian.
Donations continue to be sought to offset restoration costs. For information, call the Chamber at 746-7724.