As of 2014, the Crescent Building is undergoing a gut renovation and exterior alteration. Interestingly, unlike many of its neighbors, the develop has chosen to keep the existing shell of the building, possibly speaking to the original quality of the structure and its adaptability. The Chamber Award program speaks directly to this in stating that “The Cresent Building in Long Island City enhances the value of property in its immediate vicinity and could well serve as the impetus for future commercial-business development in the Queens Plaza area.” The basic layout is 9 floors of reinforced concrete, brick face on the exterior, and a plethora of windows.
This branch of the Jamaica National Bank is a limestone block clad box with simple details including patterned panels under the windows, a metal framed entrance vestibule, and a stone veneer retaining wall. The building is oriented to face a triangular green space replete with flagpole.
Junior HS 216 is a standard mid-1950s design–tan brick exterior, metal framed windows, flat roof, and minimal detailing. The one design feature to call out in the panels of dark red polished granite between the windows and around some entrance ways. The designer, Eric Kebbon, was architect of the NYC Board of Education from 1938 to 1952 so this design was most likely one of his last for the school system. All of his designs follow a similar pattern and more than a hundred examples exist across the city. After the early 50s, more public schools came to be designed by more prominent NYC-based and national firms.
The former Shell station consists of a plain brick building with four bays and a hipped roof at the rear of the lot. The site is now used as parking for a nearby restaurant. While not particularly interesting, the service station was designed by Lama, Proskauer, Prober, a prolific but largely unheralded firm, that designed hundreds of buildings, mainly service stations, but also apartment complexes across the city. The firm was active for a long span of time, from the 1920s until at least the 1980s. As real estate prices have continued to rise and service stations, especially in Manhattan, have been replaced by new development, this firm’s body of work is rapidly shrinking.
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.