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.
This building’s 13-story tower is visible from most points on the Queens College campus, acting as a focal point for administrative and classroom uses. The structure consists of the central tower and several wings of varying heights. The finishes are brick and steel with aluminum panels and windows, and metal canopies over all entrances. Queens College went through a major expansion throughout the 1960s and five of its buildings won Building Awards including the Colden Center, dining hall, and this one being the last.
Unfortunately a rarity even by 1970, the Rose Ann Shearin Residence is an extant example of a woman-designed building, in this case by a woman named Rose Ann Shearin who designed it to evoke a West Coast aesthetic. The house is clad in white brick known as White Marsh designed to give it an an aged patina and the top floor incorporates a mansard roof. Wood-fronted balconies on both upper floors supported by columns have subsequently been removed.
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.
This neo-Gothic structure has been lovingly maintained by its congregation since construction, it sits on an irregularly shaped parcel presenting its main entrance on a small triangular open space. The exterior walls are granite stone with limestone trim and the steep roof is tiled in slate. The cross on the top is gold, although tarnished. The sanctuary is open and airy with Douglas fir paneling and trusses and the walls remain painted in a bright pastel as originally designed.