A large, sprawling mid-century hospital complex, Elmhurst General Hospital is still surprisingly intact on the exterior. Still visible in large part on the secondary facades is the original salmon colored brick and some of the exterior terraces, used in the 1950s and 60s but abandoned for interior state of the art interior facilities today. York and Sawyer, the classicists of banks and hospitals in Manhattan designed this hospital, most likely as a last gasp of the firm and no doubt with some consulting help.
Cathedral Prep expanded into Queens from Brooklyn, previously located in a Gothic Revival building complete with gargoyles in Clinton Hill. The L-shaped school was meant to accommodate the growing population of students for the seminary and along with the later Cathedral College of 1968 in Douglaston, represented the Brooklyn Diocese’s continued efforts to rapidly expand its facilities. However unlike the later Cathedral College, Cathedra Prep is a much more traditional take in terms of its design aesthetics. By this time, the firm of Beatty & Berlenbach was dwindling down, having had their heyday earlier in the century. The materials here are red brick, limestone, and granite and the details are restrained with only window surrounds and some limestone and granite framing. Overall a much more traditional look that speaks more to the 1950s than 60s.
This building was at the corner of Queens Boulevard and Broadway, a location especially chosen to give the bank prominent placement. It is unclear why a round bank was designed although the award”s program states that the round shape was informed by the corner lot and need for an entrance facing the intersection. However, with Skidmore Owings and Merrill’s complex of round buildings for Macy’s and National City Bank just down Queens Boulevard, it is possible that this bank was inspired by its nearby neighbors, completed just the year before. The bank was constructed with a precast concrete exterior while the disengaged roof was held up on interior columns. The interior also included a symmetrical arrangement of teller stations and a Venetian terrazzo floor. The building was demolished in 2004 and the lot is currently empty.
Closed in early 2014, the Pan American Motor Inn’s future is unclear but the building remains. It has an elliptical design, curving out to to the street on both ends. The first floor is recessed to allow access for pedestrians and vehicles. The yellow brick in the window areas bring a pop of color to the otherwise unrelieved exposed concrete frame.