Albert F. Meissner (June 27, 1887-October 22, 1959) was an architect largely known for designing numerous Catholic churches in Queens . 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 . Both funeral home buildings won awards from the Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards program in 1952 and 1955.
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
St. Anthony of Padua Church, Jamaica 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, Rego Park, NY, 1955
Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians , Woodside, NY, 1958
- Noda, Jessie (2011), “Roman Catholic Architecture in Queens, N.Y.” (master’s thesis), Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation.
- Kearns, Thomas, interview, 27 April 2015.