Research

Long Island State Park Commission Maps, Plans, and Sketches for Improvement and Development of Parks and Parkways on Long Island

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series documents the Commission's responsibilities to oversee the state of parks and parkways on Long Island. Consisting primarily of maps and plans, the series also includes sketches of parks, recreational areas, and other facilities; conveyances for realignments of roads; aerial surveys of the south shore of Long Island; and sanitation survey application data for Suffolk County.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
3.1 cubic feet (47 maps) : print, some annotated, blueprints ; 60 x 34 cm or larger.
Inclusive Dates:
circa 1928-1954
Bulk Dates:
bulk 1930-1950
Series Number:
A3320

Arrangement

Numerical by map or plan number.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of a variety of printed maps, plans, and sketches of parks, recreational areas, and other facilities in Suffolk and Nassau counties that were apparently the focus of the Long Island State Park Commission over several decades. The commission was organized by Chapter 112 of the Laws of 1924 to provide for the location, creation, acquisition, and improvement by the state of parks and parkways in those two counties. The public improvement effort was part of a comprehensive statewide plan for development of a unified state parks and parkways system.

The commission plan called for a parkway system to provide access to individual parks from congested population centers and to improve transit on/to Long Island on attractive routes without interference by commercial traffic. It also called for the acquisition of land on the shores of Long Island to provide maximum park property on the northern and southern shores and at the then underdeveloped eastern end of the island. This included eventual transfer to the state of town beaches in Hempstead, Oyster Bay, and Babylon, lying between Long Beach and Fire Island. Robert Moses was the commission's chairman over several decades of its work, which progressed in stages as money and local politics permitted.

The records are primarily copies of print maps and plans, only some of which are annotated, that were prepared for and recommended by the commission to towns. They include maps showing land to be provided for the Long Island State Parkway system and the relation of private land holdings to the commission; sectional and highway maps of Suffolk County; and zoning and subdivision maps for several towns, showing district boundaries. Examples include a plan for development of Oak Island Beach, Babylon; a vicinity map of Heckscher State Park; and a highway map of Suffolk County annotated with recreation parks. Maps for the Town of Islip apparently relate to commission planning done for restoration and protection of Fire Island; after a hurricane struck in September of 1938, the commission resurrected a plan prepared 10 years earlier, and augmented and revised the maps, property surveys, rights of way and other data prepared at that time.

Other records reflect conveyances for realignments of roads; layout, site, and building plans of marinas and golf courses; plans of specific buildings within recreational complexes, especially clubhouses; aerial surveys of the south shore of Long Island; and one exhibit of sanitation survey application data for Suffolk County. These may relate to commission efforts to improve inlets to cope with increasing marine activity in the 1940s and 1950s as extension of the various links in the plan were completed.

The maps and plans are varied in their characteristics, although the majority are printed copies/blueprints that have been only slightly annotated. Most have distinct title, scale, and legend information and sometimes the commission is named as preparer. Sizes range from 60 x 34 cm to 105 x 260 cm.

A3320-11: This accretion consists of two blueprint maps with descriptions of property to be provided for the Southern State Parkway in Suffolk County. File numbers are 1672 and 1673.

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