The Walter Lippmann Building’s rehabilitation is truly wonderful and unexpected, although now marred by modern alterations. During the rehab, to keep costs down, a large tile mural was added to several areas of the exterior, including over the entrance, providing a striking focal point for this industrial street. At some point windows were punched through the main mural, destroying its integrity but the design remains mostly intact and is an enjoyable sight to come upon.
Some of the Queens Modern winners feature the use of new materials and here at the former Veterans of Foreign Wars meeting hall (since a church and now a special events space), the cornice is made of Granolux, which was a mid-century composite coating of marble and granite. It seems to have been a difficult material and is not mentioned frequently. The doors and windows are mirrored and the facade is glazed brick. The elaborate eagle flagpole dating from the veterans’ days remains today.
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.
This building today serves as a social services center for the disabled but largely remains the same on the exterior from its industrial days as a factory for knitting and sewing. The structure is a large, singular rectangle with clad in brick with some granite details at ground level. There is a prominent double-height entrance framed by vertical and horizontal exposed steel beams, which originally had a cantilevered entrance staircase, since modified. The building is sited on a slope which accommodates a garage underneath the building for parking.
The Bankers Trust building was a three-story structure sited on an odd-shaped corner lot. The narrow end of the lot was the primary entrance and the bank expanded out as it went back. The bank was clad in brick above a stone base and had aluminum window detailing. The name of the branch ran along both facades and below a simple cornice line in several places were classically-inspired decorative elements, possibly stylized crests. Demolished at the height of a real estate bubble in 2008, the lot remains empty although plans have been filed for much larger buildings.