The Leo Kearns series of funeral home facilities are unique within the Queens Modern lexicon, featuring elements of West Coast modernism and showing the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, both rarities in the borough’s mid-century design. The former executive office building, now a daycare center is much more restrained than the two extant funeral homes, and is largely a brick cube with simple limestone and granite detailing. Raymond Irrera did this building and one of the two funeral buildings, with Meisner doing the other, so its unclear why the Kearns company employed a more restrained style here.
This one story bank is a stripped-down version of the Colonial Revival. The Georgian and Colonial styles were popular revivals in the 1950s and 60s, continuing to be even more popular around the Bicentennial in 1976. But unlike more high-style versions such as the Queens County Savings Banks in Kew Gardens Hills and Little Neck, here the building only nods to the style with a tiny cupola and brickface.
This synagogue is located in the quiet residential setting of Belle Harbour. The building is faced with quarry stone and brick and includes some interesting temple details like the row of front doors shaped like an open book. The complex includes the main sanctuary, a balcony, a school, a chapel, a roof terrace, and a ballroom. Badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy with major flooding of its lower floors, the building only partially reopened in 2014 and has still not fully recovered. Victor Civkin, the synagogue’s architect was not particularly well-known especially in New York. However he also designed a temple using similar materials in Fairfield, Connecticut, as well as numerous residential structures in southwest Connecticut.
Sometimes building campaigns fall short or parish needs change. St. Mel’s Auditorium was built for the neighboring St. Mel’s School as a 900-seat gathering space over a 400-seat basement cafeteria. Today St. Mel’s Auditorium is St. Mel’s Church and the auditorium serves as the main sanctuary, complete with contemporary stained glass. A metallic steeple has been added on top of the flat roof of the auditorium.
This bank building was created through the rehabilitation of a three story commercial building with the existing two story bank next door all running along Jamaica Avenue under the elevated train line. Next to this along Woodhaven Boulevard was added a one-story annex. All the building were reclad in a combination of limestone and granite with marble accents. The window lines are recessed, giving this structure a classical slant. A small clock is placed above the recessed corner entrance.