The Queens Zoo restaurant building, a circular pavilion of reinforced concrete and floor-to-ceiling glass, is still in daily use. In addition to the central structure, there is an adjacent brick service wing and curvilinear walls extending out next to it. The entire complex sits at the top of descending levels of terraces with trees, seating, and paved surfaces.
The description of this building in the awards program make it clear that this was constructed as more of a social services venue than a professional gathering place. The buildings purpose is described as “…provides a long-standing need for a center which not only reflects the high standing of the legal profession in Queens, but which also serves as a haven for the lay public of unfortunate means burdened with legal difficulties.” Interior spaces highlight are set aside for meeting areas, an assembly hall, a social hall, a library, conference rooms and originally a caretaker’s apartment. The front is plain but with a prominent corner entrance featuring a metal sculpture of justice mounted on a black granite panel.
Aviation High School is a specialized trade high school purpose built for its somewhat unusual focus. Taking up an entire city block on Queens Boulevard in Woodside and accommodating 2,500 students, the school includes normal educational facilities like classrooms and a cafeteria but also a hangar and shops where students work on donated aircraft. The complex is of a Miesian design, largely unaltered, and includes a curtain wall design with aluminum framed windows and enamel panels in a green-blue hue. A light colored brick is also employed. The main entrance, actually on 36th Street, features a large stainless steel sculpture running up the side of the building and according to the Queens Awards program is an abstraction of aircraft vapor.
The Jackson Heights Branch of the Queens Library system was only the second one completed post World War II. It sits on 81st Street just off the commercial cooridor. It was designed by Simeon Heller, the building awards’ longtime chairman who’s own house also won an award the same year. Many of his other buildings have since been demolished so it is interesting to compare these two to get a sense of his design principles. Light seems to be a major focus and there is ample light from both the front and rear of the structure. The front is faced in limestone with prominent aluminum trim. To either side of the entrance are small square windows pierced into the limestone to give light to the circulation stairwells.