Immaculate Conception Church remains a presence in this part of Astoria–its sprawling complex includes school buildings, a convent, and rectory. The church alone received this award for its prominent corner building with striking bell tower. The parish dates back to 1924, created to address the booming Catholic population in Astoria. Originally services were held in the school building’s basement. Ground was broken for the new church in 1949. McGill was a prolific church architect and a favorite of the Brooklyn Diocese at this time.
The Church of the Blessed Sacrament continues to be a beacon in this community with its graduated striped facing and blend of exotic and contemporary design on its tower. The architect Henry McGill was a prolific church designer and this is one of his most distinctive and also one of his last. He died in 1953 just two years after it was completed. However, according to the AIA Guide to New York City, the church design predates its construction by a decade, which would not be all that surprising given the strong moderne elements. McGill also did the other two earlier buildings on site, the auditorium (1933) and convent (1937).