This commercial facility was built to replace the previous structure which burned down in a major fire the year before. Glendale Lumber has existed in this location since its founding in 1920 by Edward Wagner and remains owned by the Wagner family. The design is utilitarian while also employing popular finishes of the period such as aluminium framed windows, terrazzo flooring, and wood paneling. The complex remains remarkably intact down to the unique 1960s pebble-globe chandelier in the showroom designed by Mrs. Jack Wagner Sr. Behind the showroom and offices in the main storage warehouse is the original modular shelving system imported from England in the early 1960s, which is still in use today. Special thanks to Lance Wagner Sr. and the Wagner Family for the tour of their facility.
The first Borough’s Outstanding Award was presented in 1953 to the Bulova Watch complex. This monumental building uses a severely 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.
This building was at the corner of Queens Boulevard and Broadway, a location especially chosen to give the bank prominent placement. It is unclear why a round bank was designed although the award”s program states that the round shape was informed by the corner lot and need for an entrance facing the intersection. However, with Skidmore Owings and Merrill’s complex of round buildings for Macy’s and National City Bank just down Queens Boulevard, it is possible that this bank was inspired by its nearby neighbors, completed just the year before. The bank was constructed with a precast concrete exterior while the disengaged roof was held up on interior columns. The interior also included a symmetrical arrangement of teller stations and a Venetian terrazzo floor. The building was demolished in 2004 and the lot is currently empty.
This building today serves as a social services center for the disabled but largely remains the same on the exterior from its industrial days as a factory for knitting and sewing. The structure is a large, singular rectangle with clad in brick with some granite details at ground level. There is a prominent double-height entrance framed by vertical and horizontal exposed steel beams, which originally had a cantilevered entrance staircase, since modified. The building is sited on a slope which accommodates a garage underneath the building for parking.
Designed by major architectural firm Fellheimer & Wagner toward the end of its existence, this mid-century school has some unusual and engaging elements including a rounded, U-shaped central classroom space and bold blue terra cotta panels decorating the entrance areas. According to the Chamber of Commerce description, the building rambles over a sloping 8 1/2 acre site and is built of reinforced concrete and steel, partially to accommodate the weight of industrial equipment typical in a vocational school. The other major exterior elements are brick, steel windows and aluminum detailing around the entrance. The lower-rise portions of the building also feature angled roofs which give the entire structure an element of energy.