The Diplomat was one of the first white brick apartment houses in Queens and stands out among the more prevalent red brick towers of Forest Hills. As with many of the apartment towers going up at this time, the aim was to provide the latest amenities and the real estate brochure for the Diplomat lists more than 30 features, from a roofdeck and garden to Venetian blinds for all windows. The architect, A. H. Salkowitz, was known for his apartment designs so it makes sense he was chosen here, although the Diplomat was quickly surpassed by larger and most costly apartment buildings as the 60s progressed.
A traditional Georgian Revival bank building by a firm known for its bank design. The Awards program is surprisingly amusing in its description of the design stating “…the Richmond Hill Savings Bank tends to exert a subtle influence of traditional New Englad morality and sound character in this Queens community.” It goes on further to state “…it presents a charming picture which, in a quiet way, may serve to temper any tendencies toward extremes of architecture in future neighborhood construction.
Here A. F. Meissner expanded on his previous Richmond Hill branch, designing a larger, slightly curved facility at a prominent but difficult intersection. Like the earlier branch, the building uses stone veneer, limestone trim, concrete, brick, and other material to denote a new, modern building. The branch is relatively unchanged since its construction including interior wood panelling, glass and metal details, and the original wood frame addition specified by the architect on the plans.
This is the first of four awards that Leo. F. Kearns would win for their facilities. A. F. Meissner was primarily a church architect and the Kearns family new him from local Catholic circles. But here he did something completely different with a Frank Lloyd-esque one story structure using a variety of materials to create a design unlike anything else in Queens or even NYC. The apocryphal story is that one of the Kearns brothers suggested this basic design to him when an earlier three-story Colonial Revival design was too cost prohibitive. Meisser’s design for the second Kearns branch also followed this lead. The Richmond Hill branch won a second award in 1964 for an alteration by Raymond Irrera to add an elevator enclosure. The addition is almost completely indistinguishable from the original structure. Today the Kearns family still own the building and use it for their popular funeral business.
Built for the Food Clerk’s Union, this building is a standard corporate style office building, a flat two-story structure of white concrete and black aluminum windows, fronted by a minimally landscaped entrance courtyard and parking lot.