Long Island: Then and Now
From the Roosevelt Raceway to the New York Islanders, we compare 1978 to now.
Then: Gas prices
Donna Klecak smiles as she pumps gas in 1979 at the O.K. Petroleum gas station in West Babylon. 1978 was one year before the energy crisis of 1979, when Klecak's gasoline cost her close to $1.50 a gallon.
Now: Gas prices
As of early 2010, the average price per gallon for gasoline in New York State rose above $2.75 per gallon, with some gas stations charging more than $3.
Then: Nunley's Carousel
Nunley's Carousel moved from Brooklyn to Baldwin in 1938. Located off Sunrise Highway, Nunley's Carousel resumed as an amusement attraction in 1940. The carousel was constructed in 1912.
Now: Former site of Nunley's Carousel in Baldwin
The land in Baldwin where Nunley's Carousel amused riders for 55 years is now an auto parts store. The park closed in 1995 and the amusements were sold. The 40-horse carousel has a new home on Nassau County's Museum Row in East Garden City.
Then: The Roosevelt Raceway in 1978
The Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury began featuring harness racing in September 1940. The first race was won by the horse "Martha Lee."
Now: Meadowbrook Pointe housing development
The land the Roosevelt Raceway stood upon was sold in 1984 and remained a raceway until its closure in 1988. Today, a luxury housing development occupies the land, surrounded by major retailers in Westbury.
1978: Long Island MacArthur Airport
Overall view of the main terminal at MacArthur airport in 1978. The airport, located in Ronkonkoma, opened in 1942 and began servicing commercial flights in 1960.
Now: Long Island MacArthur Aiport main terminal
Long Island MacArthur Airport has entered its fifth decade of commercial air travel. The airport has undergone renovations and an expansion (in 2004) and is home to Southwest, which occupies Concourse A of the terminal.
Then: Huntington Townhouse
The exterior of the Huntington Townhouse was a catering hall that began as a restaurant named Gerard's in the 1950s. The structure measured 148,000 square feet and sits on 17.5 acres of land off Jericho Turnpike. The hall has been home to countless weddings and other celebrations.
Now: Former site of Huntington Townhouse
According to Newsday archives, the land was purchased in 2007 for an undisclosed price. Officials from home improvement chain Lowe's confirmed the purchase of the property located off Jericho Turnpike. According to court documents, the property had been worth $38.5 million, but terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Then: The Blizzard of 1978
A major snowstorm in February 1978 incapacitated much of Long Island and New York City. Many point to the inability to forecast the severity of the storm. Major roadways, including the Long Island Expressway, were littered with cars stuck in the snow.
Now: Major snowstorms in 2009 and 2010
Snowstorms in December 2009 and the early months of 2010 brought more than 20 inches of snow to some areas of Long Island. Forecasting and preparation minimized troubles for Long Islanders after the snowfall.
Then: Long Island-based marathon
Participants in the 1978 Earth Day Marathon enter Eisenhower Park. The marathon began in 1970.
Now: Long Island-based marathon
Racers at the starting line for the 2009 Long Island Marathon. The marathon has been known by this name since 1978. Participants can now partake of a full marathon, half marathon or 10k event on race day.
Billy Joel's “Piano Man” dominated the readers’ vote for last week’s installment of “100 Songs Every Long Islander Should Know.” The classic landed just short of the overall Top 5, though.
Then: Westbury Drive-In
The Westbury Drive-In opened in 1953 and provided entertainment for 45 years, before closing in 1998. The drive-in had enough room for 950 cars.
Now: Westbury movie theater
The Westbury Drive-In has been replaced by the Westbury 12 United Artist mutiplex.