Immaculate Conception Church remains a presence in this part of Astoria–its sprawling complex includes school buildings, a convent, and rectory. The church alone received this award for its prominent corner building with striking bell tower. The parish dates back to 1924, created to address the booming Catholic population in Astoria. Originally services were held in the school building’s basement. Ground was broken for the new church in 1949. McGill was a prolific church architect and a favorite of the Brooklyn Diocese at this time.
The Church of the Blessed Sacrament continues to be a beacon in this community with its graduated striped facing and blend of exotic and contemporary design on its tower. The architect Henry McGill was a prolific church designer and this is one of his most distinctive and also one of his last. He died in 1953 just two years after it was completed. However, according to the AIA Guide to New York City, the church design predates its construction by a decade, which would not be all that surprising given the strong moderne elements. McGill also did the other two earlier buildings on site, the auditorium (1933) and convent (1937).
This residence was awarded as a rehabilitation not a residence, as the modern intervention was to expand the house from a one-family to two-family and one story to two, with an additional one-story extension. According to the awards program description, both residences have front and rear access. The interior was completely gutted and redone. The exterior remains mostly intact and features a facade of granite veneer on the first floor, shingles on the second, and a slate roof.
The J. Bulova Company was founded in 1875 in New York City as a maker of watches and clocks, becoming the largest watchmaker in the world. Subsequently, the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking was started in 1945 as a non-profit institution to provide training and rehabilitation for disabled World War II veterans, building a physical school just a few years later.
This corner commercial space harkens back to a time of quaint storefronts and the Colonial Revival style. The building was meant to blend into the surrounding neighborhood and incorporates white brick, shutters, picture windows, a slate roof, and a classical cornice. The building looks remarkably the same although the trim is now black and some of the picture window details have been modernized.