This is the first of four awards that Leo. F. Kearns would win for their facilities. A. F. Meissner was primarily a church architect and the Kearns family new him from local Catholic circles. But here he did something completely different with a Frank Lloyd-esque one story structure using a variety of materials to create a design unlike anything else in Queens or even NYC. The apocryphal story is that one of the Kearns brothers suggested this basic design to him when an earlier three-story Colonial Revival design was too cost prohibitive. Meisser’s design for the second Kearns branch also followed this lead. The Richmond Hill branch won a second award in 1964 for an alteration by Raymond Irrera to add an elevator enclosure. The addition is almost completely indistinguishable from the original structure. Today the Kearns family still own the building and use it for their popular funeral business.
Built for the Food Clerk’s Union, this building is a standard corporate style office building, a flat two-story structure of white concrete and black aluminum windows, fronted by a minimally landscaped entrance courtyard and parking lot.
Today this building is a plain brick industrial building that has been converted to educational use. But when it won an award in 1966, the building featured an unusual combination of breeze block screens, fieldstone veneer around the entrance, aluminum framing the windows, and vertical piers of marble chips embedded in white cement. Sadly, none of this remains today as an example of when companies were using eye-catching buildings to stand out from fellow competitors. The owner of the building Arnold Levien likely gave the architect and his relative, Maurice Levien, a loose hand to design as he liked when he radically altered the building from its previous appearance.
As of 2014, the Crescent Building is undergoing a gut renovation and exterior alteration. Interestingly, unlike many of its neighbors, the develop has chosen to keep the existing shell of the building, possibly speaking to the original quality of the structure and its adaptability. The Chamber Award program speaks directly to this in stating that “The Cresent Building in Long Island City enhances the value of property in its immediate vicinity and could well serve as the impetus for future commercial-business development in the Queens Plaza area.” The basic layout is 9 floors of reinforced concrete, brick face on the exterior, and a plethora of windows.
More than one residence of the Romorini Family won Queens Chamber of Commerce Awards, but this one is no longer extant. Largely altered at this time of this survey, the standard two story house with attached garage was gutted down to the frame and the brick, stone, and wood facade removed. The property exists on a quiet cul de sac abutting the campus of the Queens Chamber award-winner Cathedral College.