Place Category: Parks and Playgrounds
This park most likely draws its name from the grouping of several neighborhood elements, including “Bay” (from the neighborhood of Bay Terrace), “bridge” (from its proximity to the Throgs Neck Bridge), and “Green,” since the park is located adjacent to the Clearview Park and Clearview Golf Course. The City acquired this property in 1931 as it made way for the adjacent Clearview Expressway.
The Clearview Expressway connects the Throgs Neck Bridge with the major east-west thoroughfares, such as the Long Island Expressway, that traverse Queens and Long Island. Original plans for the expressway called for a six-lane highway that would run south from the bridge to the Long Island Expressway. In 1955, when the construction plans were made public, local communities protested that the expressway would have a negative effect on their neighborhoods. Finally, in 1956, a revised plan was settled upon, reducing the number of displaced homes by more than half.
The new expressway provided an important commercial link between Long Island and I-95 (which runs through New England and the entire eastern seaboard), and it thereby qualified as part of the Interstate Highway System. As such, 90 percent of the cost of construction was subsidized by federal funds. Actual work on the Clearview Expressway began in 1957, and was supposed to be finished by 1965. However, efforts were increased in order to finish the work in time for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, and work was completed by 1963. Today, close to 100,000 vehicles travel on the Clearview Expressway each day. Although it is only 5.3 miles long, it remains a crucial connection between Long Island and the rest of the northeast.
Bay Terrace, the Queens community that is bordered by Little Bay and Little Neck Bay to the north and the neighborhood of Bayside to the south, were originally the part of three influential family estates. In 1823, Charles Willet bought 170 acres of the land overlooking Little Neck Bay and named it Willets Point. The land changed hands several times, and was later developed into the present commercial and residential area. To reflect the change, in 1939 the area was named Bay Terrace after Bayside.
Bayside was originally home to the Matinecock Indians, and was founded in 1664 by Englishman William Lawrence as part of the 1644 land parcels for which King Charles I (1600-1649) granted patents. During the American Revolution (1775-1783), a majority of Bayside settlers were ardent Tories (British sympathizers). In the mid-19th century, many wealthy New York families built mansions in Bayside, but by the 1920s and 1930s, many of these estates were dissolved to make way for the new residents of the area. Bayside saw significant post-war construction of bridges and highways, including the Clearview Expressway. In the 1950s, large apartment complexes sprung up in the neighborhood. Today the community has a primarily middle-class suburban flavor, and has a very diverse population of residents.
Roe Place, 15th Road, and the Clearview Expressway bound this park. The City condemned the property on which this park was built in June 1931, and transferred jurisdiction to Parks later that year. Baybridge Green is inaccessible from the main roads.
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