Located just across the street from the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, originally these buildings were clad in white brick and probably looked more similar to the Kesslers’ most prominent design, Washington Square Village. Today the buildings have been resurfaced in tan stucco with some dark red horizontal areas and dark red slab balconies which give the buildings a more drab, utilitarian appearance. The five buildings only occupy 11% of the total land but the site is minimally landscaped. The awards program description also states that houses of worship were included in the design, which could possibly refer to the pre-existing St. Rose of Lima Church and Temple of Israel on Beach 84th Street.
Designed by prolific apartment designer Philip Birnbaum and built by noted Queens developer Morton Pickman, this 14-story apartment complex still towers over the Bayside neighborhood around it. The design is fairly standard for Birnbaum, efficient yet state of the art, providing amenities such as an Olympic swimming pool, rooftop garden, and private terraces. Some “of-the-moment” features are noted in the awards writeup, such as music played throughout the public spaces and an oriental style lobby. These elements have not survived to the present day, although the severe marble lobby has glints of its past.
One of the later Jackson Heights developments, this building is a standard brick mid-century development, using a central recessed entrance with large courtyard planting area and end balconies for the high end apartments.
Another somewhat interchangeable brick apartment tower, the L-shaped Park Briar is slightly discernible for its angled orientation and central entrance set back behind a small landscaped entrance plaza. The original glass fronted balconies have been replaced by white metal.
When built Silver Tower was the tallest residential building on Long Island. Today it’s not even the tallest building nearby (which goes to Court Plaza of 1974), but it still largely dominates low rise Kew Gardens. The building is not silver but rather white brick with vertical accents of grey brick. The base is a glossy black granite. The tower rises 16 floors initially and then another 11 as a setback tower. While not an elegant design, the building speaks to the continued market for apartments with the latest amenities during this time.