The automobile was a relatively new concept in the 1920's when locals first lobbied for the mountain-top highway which was to become the Whteface Mountain Veterans' Memorial Highway. Then - Govenor Franklin D. Roosevelt turned the first spade of dirt in September of 1929. Construction began in 1931, creating much needed jobs for engineers, construction workers, and stone masons during the early years of the Great Depression. After four years of construction and a cost of $1,250,000, the road opened to traffic on July 20, 1935. Roosevelt, then President of the United States, returned on September 14, 1935 to dedicate the highway and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forest Preserve in Lake Placid.