Scandinavian Airlines System Inc.

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One of the era’s selected Special Bronze Plaques went to this building. Scandinavian Airlines was making a statement with this building, siting it at a triangular point above the intersection of two major roads and using gleaming white brick as the main material. Kahn and Jacobs were also prominent designers of the era so this building has more to do with the showmanship seen with some of the major airport buildings. The neighborhood, while somewhat an arbitrary choice, was supposedly chosen as a location halfway between the two airports. The design is distinctly echoing in the white brick and glass of International design rather than the brick of the immediate surrounding area. Unfortunately, the building’s fortunes did not rise and once Scandinavian Airlines moved, the building has limped along, currently being occupied by a bank and a senior health care facility.

Simeon Heller Residence

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This structure built by an architect for his own residence is a simple and striking example of residential design. Heller was a longtime Queens Chamber Building Awards chairman and jury member. For his own home, he designed a modest home with, as the program book states, “…thought given to orientation for privacy, ventilation and view.” The building sits above grade on a slope with a garage and basement at street level. Although the description states that the design employs no special ornamentation, a calm design emerges with natural materials blending into a terraced landscape behind a rock retaining wall. The current owners have lovingly maintained the exterior design including a unique wood lattice framework on the side elevation.

Bestform Foundations

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Bestform Foundations building sits in Woodside on the border of an industrial and residential zone. Because of this, the building originally used colored brickface and glass windows to give the impression of a school rather than an industrial facility. Today the building is readily visible in form, although completely covered in the orange and blue vinyl branding of a Storage Deluxe building. Most notable is the existing second floor penthouse, which originally housed executive offices above the first floor factory. This is also one of three award winners designed in part by a female architect. Here Irene Von Horvath was part of the team, in her early career before relocating to the Southwest.

St. Gertrude’s Auditorium

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St. Gertrude’s auditorium is one of architect John O’Malley’s lesser works. The building is a large rectangular auditorium with a separate entrance connected to the rear of the existing, older St. Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Church. Today the building is closed and decaying on a stretch of the Rockaways filled with new construction but also numerous empty lots.