Today this building is a plain brick industrial building that has been converted to educational use. But when it won an award in 1966, the building featured an unusual combination of breeze block screens, fieldstone veneer around the entrance, aluminum framing the windows, and vertical piers of marble chips embedded in white cement. Sadly, none of this remains today as an example of when companies were using eye-catching buildings to stand out from fellow competitors. The owner of the building Arnold Levien likely gave the architect and his relative, Maurice Levien, a loose hand to design as he liked when he radically altered the building from its previous appearance.
As of 2014, the Crescent Building is undergoing a gut renovation and exterior alteration. Interestingly, unlike many of its neighbors, the develop has chosen to keep the existing shell of the building, possibly speaking to the original quality of the structure and its adaptability. The Chamber Award program speaks directly to this in stating that “The Cresent Building in Long Island City enhances the value of property in its immediate vicinity and could well serve as the impetus for future commercial-business development in the Queens Plaza area.” The basic layout is 9 floors of reinforced concrete, brick face on the exterior, and a plethora of windows.
Replaced by a large hotel, this honorable mention project consisted of a one story pale brick industrial building, of which numerous examples still line the streets of Long Island City. However they are quickly disappearing to an onslaught of new residential development.
The Russ Togs building is a large blank building, its facade of blocks of tan brickface intersected at regular intervals by narrow vertical lines of dark windows. There is a central core differentiated by a slightly higher facade wall, dark grey brickface, and a wall of windows above the entrance. The structure housed a prominent clothing manufacturer, well known and expanding when this facility was built, but bankrupt by 1991. The layout of three floors with 20 foot ceilings and 70,000 square feet was directly for the needs of the company’s line of business. Today the structure houses a cosmetic manufacturer.
The simple brick and glass facade of this branch is of Astoria Federal is still extant although extended another lot along the streetwall. The interior originally featured a large mural of Manhattan. The award program specifically calls out Muzak as a special feature, undoubtably a rarity this time.