The Cord Meyer Office Building is a late gasp of corporate modernism in Queens. Cord Meyer was responsible for much of the development of Forest Hills, developing housing from the turn of the century through the 1980s and later switching efforts to coop conversions and real estate management. Their nine-story office building occupies a prominent intersection in Forest Hills along Queens Boulevard, standing conspiciously among significantly lower-rise residential neighbors. The building is clad in a bronze-colored aluminum and glass exterior curtain wall capped by a masonry tower at one end. The whole building floats above a commercial base which has been altered. The Building Award still hangs inside the lobby entrance.
The backstory of this set of rather modest, apartment-style, attached residences comes courtesy of Leo Fakler, a partner in the firm which designed the project, Fakler & Horowitz. The partners met in the offices of the Lefrak Organization’s go-to architect, Jack Brown, and worked on several major projects, including the award-winning Lefrak City. They set out on their own in 1961, partnering together until the late 1960s. Give the date of this structure, this would have been one of their last projects completed together. As Mr. Fakler states, developers were very busy in 1968 rushing to complete projects before the major NYC zoning changes took place and the speculative Jardan Residences was one of many projects the firm was involved with at the time. The developer was Howard Miller, who had also worked for Jack Brown, until he set out on his own. The residences are of brown brick and have a series of exterior balconies and staircases, providing access and privacy. The base of the building is a series of rounded arches with parking available in front.
Another somewhat interchangeable brick apartment tower, the L-shaped Park Briar is slightly discernible for its angled orientation and central entrance set back behind a small landscaped entrance plaza. The original glass fronted balconies have been replaced by white metal.
When built Silver Tower was the tallest residential building on Long Island. Today it’s not even the tallest building nearby (which goes to Court Plaza of 1974), but it still largely dominates low rise Kew Gardens. The building is not silver but rather white brick with vertical accents of grey brick. The base is a glossy black granite. The tower rises 16 floors initially and then another 11 as a setback tower. While not an elegant design, the building speaks to the continued market for apartments with the latest amenities during this time.
Another ubiquitous late Jackson Heights apartment building, this one is of dark red brick and an entrance that originally shown with white marble and a turquoise mosaic, both now gone.