by Kevin Walsh

HERE’S a magnificent arch bridge, probably steel clad in concrete, taking the Grand Central Parkway above Hollis Court Boulevard in Holliswood in the Fab Fifties. Hollis Court Boulevard used to be a major diagonal Queens route running from Flushing to Bellaire, but over the decades it has been interrupted and cut back because of the additions of the Long Island (Horace Harding) Expressway, Cunningham Park and the Clearview Expressway.

This modern day shot from Street View is in about the same location today; here the Clearview Expressway, completed in 1962 (though Mr. Moses wanted to run it south all the way to the Belt Parkway) has completely replaced the modest two-lane Hollis Court Boulevard and the magnificent arch is long gone; I am unsure what year it was replaced. The Clearview and GCP meet in the ultimate in spaghetti exchanges here.

To me, this railroad bridge in Manayunk, Philadelphia, quite resembles the former GCP span and who knows, perhaps they had the same architect.

1940s photograph courtesy Chris Ciesla.

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Phil McCarthy January 18, 2022 - 12:06 am

Sad to see that one gone, but for a bridge that looks almost as nice, check out the northbound Henry Hudson Parkway over Dyckman St.

Ralph Herman January 18, 2022 - 10:23 am

I was a pre-teen living blocks away when the interchange was constructed. Interchange was substantially completed in late 1963, although the top deck of the interchange (the GCP) was opened to traffic in 1962. The old concrete bridge was just south of the current steel structure, which was demolished immediately after the GCP was opened to traffic on the new span. The interchange design is usually referred to as a “stack” interchange.

Also, the stack interchange itself is located in Queens Village, with Holliswood directly southwest and Hollis Hills section of Queens directly northeast.

Alan January 18, 2022 - 11:03 am

This happened in the early ’60s as the GCP was widened (from four to six lanes) in preparation for the ’64-’65 Worlds Fair. The GCP was actually relocated slightly to accommodate the new interchange. I remember when all this construction was going on and it was quite a sight to behold. This was the first 4-level (or stack) interchange I had ever seen. The widening went as far east as Springfield Blvd. Years later the widening was extended eastward to the Queens/Nassau border.

redstaterefugee January 18, 2022 - 11:03 am

“Fab Forties”? Wrong, the correct decade is the fifties as evidenced by the vintage Pontiac which leads bus # 4554

Kevin Walsh January 18, 2022 - 4:55 pm

I apologize for my ignorance about 1940s automobiles. Rending garments.

Edward January 19, 2022 - 5:35 am

That Pontiac is a 1949-51 model (hard to tell from such as distance), so you may be right Kevin. 1949 is still the 1940s, so don’t rend those garments just yet!

Ed Greenberg January 18, 2022 - 1:00 pm

> the Clearview Expressway, completed in 1962 (though Mr. Moses wanted to run it south all the way to the Belt Parkway)

I recently had to tow a trailer from upstate down to Malverne. This meant no Cross Island Parkway. All my mapping programs told me to go down the Clearview till it ended at Hillside Avenue then 212 st to Jamaica Avenue, turn left, take the right fork to Hempstead Turnpike, etc.

I suspect Hollis Court Blvd would have been better, and I’d take that if I ever (heaven forbid) do this again.

That said, I would much rather if I could have had a Clearview that went further south.

Michael Lagana January 18, 2022 - 1:07 pm

That light colored two tone car between the buses on right side is a 1950’s model,not 1940’s

Andy January 18, 2022 - 1:31 pm

This link gives additional information about the Clearview Expressway –

To answer the question – when was the original arch bridge replaced? – the sentences below from the website shown should answer the question – probably 1963.
“The initial section of highway, from the Throgs Neck Bridge approach south to EXIT 3 (73rd Avenue) in Fresh Meadows, including the interchange with the LIE, was completed in late 1960. In the summer of 1963, the segment from 73rd Avenue to its southern terminus at Hillside Avenue (NY 25), including the “stack” interchange with the Grand Central Parkway, was opened to traffic.”
The stack interchange was needed because the Grand Central Parkway lies atop the terminal moraine of Long Island, and the Clearview and aptly-named Hillside Avenue are below that level.

The buses in the photo are NYC Transit Authority GM diesels, specifically Model TDH 5101, unique to NYC and built to the City’s specs. It was designed specifically for routes that fed Queens subway terminals and the Staten Island Ferry, and thus had a large front door to facilitate boardings at busy terminals. Some of these buses did run in Brooklyn and later in Manhattan, but originally they were most common in eastern Queens and Staten Island. In the photo they are on Route Q26 Hollis Court Blvd., which still runs but like its namesake street is today a minor route that only operates during weekday peak hours.

Brian Deck January 18, 2022 - 4:03 pm

There’s a 1953 Pontiac in the old photo so it was photographed 1953 or later

jerry robinson January 18, 2022 - 5:41 pm

looks more like early 1950s

Riley W Roberts January 19, 2022 - 7:24 am

it’s more akin to the Henry Avenue Bridge (Philadelphia) as it spans over Lincoln Drive.

John Liguori January 20, 2022 - 9:12 am

Looks a lot like the Delaware Water Gap bridge over route 80 in PA. Heard its all concrete with no reinforcing steel. My2 cents


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