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Queens Chronicle

Wanting a better ride, Harding earned his legacy

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Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:00 am

Wall Street financier J. Horace Harding,an avid golfer, was bothered by the bumpy ride on Nassau Boulevard to get out to the Oakland Golf and Country Club which is today the site of Queensborough Community College. He got on board early with Robert Moses’ plan for great roads and parkways, using his influence and power to improve the boulevard. Unfortunately he died in 1929 and never got to use the finished roadway.

For his early grassroots efforts, Nassau Boulevard was renamed Horace Harding Boulevard after his death.

For the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, it was renamed again, temporarily, as World’s Fair Boulevard. The photo shown here, with its lonely billboard directing motorists to use the newly opened Queens Midtown Tunnel, was taken on the north side of the road at 98th Street, approaching Queens Boulevard, a spot directly in front of what is today Lefrak City.

In February 1941 the World’s Fair Boulevard signs came down and the road’s name reverted to Horace Harding Boulevard. It wasn’t renamed again for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. In 1958 the service road for the Long Island Expressway in Queens was named the Horace Harding Expressway. Horace Harding Boulevard remains as a small stretch of road in Great Neck.

Harding, by the way, was in no way related to our 29th president of the United States, Warren Harding.

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