The Elmhurst Tanks

The Elmhurst Tanks were most famous for being the site of LIE traffic jams.


For some reason the LIE narrowed to just a few lanes as it passed the tanks. The unusual thing about this shot? …  The traffic is moving. But this is AFTER the LIE was widened here.


Many NY historical photos show tanks that are mislabeled as the Elmhurst Tanks. Tanks near the Queensboro Bridge, and Triboro Bridge and in other places were in pairs with wire frame exteriors and are easily mistaken to be the Elmhurst tanks when in fact they are not. The tanks above definitely are the Elmhurst tanks.


Only the Elmhurst tanks had red and white stripes on the wire frame exterior. This is a scary view of the tanks, 1995 courtesy Paul W. Rauschenbach. (Left) An Elmhust Tank, 1934 (dirt road 57th Ave looking west) The first tank was built in 1910 and the second one was built in 1921.

1924 aerial of the Elmhust Tanks. No LIE yet. The road on the north side of the tanks is Grand Ave. The road on the south side is 57th Avenue.


1996 aerial of the tanks


2008 aerial of no tanks. The tanks were removed between 1996 and 2001.


NYC is supposed to be converting the former grounds of the tanks into a park.

The Parks department planted over 500 Asian Longhorn Beetle-resistant trees and shrubs on the site, including several crab apple trees to honor Elmhurst as the birthplace of the famous Newtown Pippin apple, a favorite of George Washington.

The new look of the Elmhurst tank grounds.

My full facebook album of tank photos can be found here.

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