Bulova Watch Company, Inc.
Address: 77nd Street and Astoria Boulevard
Neighborhood: Jackson Heights
Architect: Alexander D. Crossett and Associates
Current Status: Extant
Award: Special Bronze Plaque
Typology: Office Building
The first Borough’s Outstanding Award was presented in 1953 to the Bulova Watch complex. This monumental building uses a severly classical design, evoking many European and American classical municipal structures from the 1930s. Alexander Crossett was not a prominent architect of the period so it is unclear why he was offered such a major commission. Most of his other buildings in the city were small utilitarian industrial buildings. However Aymar Embery III, Robert Moses’ chief architect and designer of many of the Depression-era pool and recreational complexes across the city was the consulting architect here, which could explain the strong 1930s classical evocation. The design was inspired by the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, DC.
The building is sprawling over two floors (the height limit in effect due to neighboring LaGuardia Airport), and contains 400,000 square feet of space. Indiana limestone was used on the exterior and the interior floors were travertine. The interiors were done by F. V. Gerstel and there are several deco style murals. The headquarters included both administrative as well as manufacturing space. In the 1980s Bulova sold the entire complex and it was renovated for a range of tenants. Today, the Queens Chamber of Commerce has its offices here and operates the annual Building Awards from this location, a fitting use for this outstanding award winner.
“Bulova Corporate Center” Queens Buzz.com. Accessed 10 December 2014.
Antos, Jason D. and Constantine E. Theodosiou. Images of America: Jackson Heights. Arcadia Publishing, 2013.