Albert F. Meissner (June 27, 1887-October 22, 1959) was an architect largely known for designing numerous Catholic churches in Queens [1]. His earlier structures are more conservative and historicist, but his art deco designs are standouts, like St. Teresa of Avila in South Ozone Park, St. Francis de Sales in Belle Harbor, and his late career Queens Chamber Award-winning Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians in Woodside, completed the year before he died.

He also designed two unusual funeral homes for the Leo F. Kearns family. The long, low structures have flat roofs cantilevered at the entrances, a variety of facade materials including brick and stone veneer, small window groupings, patterned concrete panels, and a cast stone window grate made up of the firm’s initials LFK. They are unlike anything else in New York City, evoking Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian era designs.

According to Kearns family lore, Leo Sr. knew Kearns from the Catholic church community in Queens, which is how he secured the commission. The first design was partially based on feedback from Leo Kearns on an initial Colonial Revival scheme [2]. Both funeral home buildings won awards from the Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards program in 1952 and 1955.

Selected Projects

Sacred Heart School, Bayside NY, 1924

Sacred Heart Church, Glendale NY, 1930

St Francis de Assisi, Astoria NY, 1931

Sacred Heart Rectory, Glendale NY, 1935

St. Elizabeth Convent, Woodhaven NY, c. 1935

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Rectory, Bayside NY, c. 1935

St Francis de Sales, Astoria NY, 1936

St. Francis de Sales Church, Rockaway NY, 1936

Southern State Parkway Homes (426 homes), St. Albans NY, 1937

Church of the Transfiguration Rectory, Maspeth NY, 1937

St. Anthony of Padua Church, Jamaica NY, 1937

St. Teresa of Avila Church and Rectory, South Ozone Park NY, 1937

St. Pius V Auditorium, Jamaica, c. 1937

St. Joseph’s RC Center, Kings Park NY, 1939

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Rectory, Jamaica NY, 1939

St Francis de Sales School, Rockaway NY, 1939

St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Bayside NY, 1940

St. Stanislaus Kostka Convent, Brooklyn NY, 1940

Sacred Heart School, Glendale NY, 1940

Lady of Loretto RC Church Convent, Hempstead NY, 1942

Sacred Heart Convent, Woodhaven NY, 1950

Leo F. Kearns Funeral Home, Richmond Hill, NY, 1952

Leo F. Kearns Funeral Home, Rego Park, NY, 1955

Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians , Woodside, NY, 1958


  1. Noda, Jessie (2011), “Roman Catholic Architecture in Queens, N.Y.” (master’s thesis), Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation.
  2. Kearns, Thomas, interview, 27 April 2015.

Queens Modern: The Architects

Queens Modern: The Architects