This former New York City government office building is today barely recognizable under layers of signage as a 99 cents discount store with a daycare center on the upper floor. The project that received an award was not the initial construction in 1958 but rather an alteration in 1962 to add an additional floor as well as a second entrance and elevator. White brick, glass and aluminum are the main materials here. Sitting immediately adjacent to the elevated subway line, it is hard to see the building in full or appreciate the elements of modern design that were so striking when it was originally built.
Founded in 1865, Lexington is the oldest and largest school for the deaf in New York State. This massive complex was built to accommodate 300 students in a campus setting. The buildings are clad in brick with concrete vertical and horizontal elements. The campus is set back from the streetwall with parking and landscaping in front. Both walls and windows on the buildings are double-paned with air space in between. In addition to classrooms, the campus includes a dormitory wing, gymnasium, auditorium, and swimming pool.
The Jackson Heights Savings and Loan Association still stands prominently at this corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Gleane Street, visible from the 7 train line immediately adjacent. The bank is sited on a long triangular lot with a projecting double-height glass entrance. Behind the entrance the rest of the building is one-story with a brick facade and a line of windows along Roosevelt Avenue.
The Jackson Heights Branch of the Queens Library system was only the second one completed post World War II. It sits on 81st Street just off the commercial cooridor. It was designed by Simeon Heller, the building awards’ longtime chairman who’s own house also won an award the same year. Many of his other buildings have since been demolished so it is interesting to compare these two to get a sense of his design principles. Light seems to be a major focus and there is ample light from both the front and rear of the structure. The front is faced in limestone with prominent aluminum trim. To either side of the entrance are small square windows pierced into the limestone to give light to the circulation stairwells.