Morris Rothstein and Sons | Extant | Forest Hills | Apartment Building | 1956 |
The Balfour is essentially two separate brick apartment complexes tied together with a one story entrance wing in the middle. Built to serve a more luxury clientele, the complex is well-maintained and incorporates amply open space covering 60% of the site. The brick-clad, six-story apartment buildings have minimal exterior detailing but originally boasted a host of modern conveniences inside. The Cord Meyer Development Company developed this and several other Queens Chamber Award winners during this era.
Birnbaum, Philip | Extant | Forest Hills | Apartment Building | 1966 |
Kennedy House was seen as the height of fashion when it was built and today still retains cache for its high end amenities and stringent board. It was designed by the prolific Philip Birnbaum and was the tallest building in the borough when completed, at 34 stories. It is set back at an angle to Queens Boulevard, taking up less than 25% of the entire site with a wide entrance drive that originally included reflecting pools. The lobby is double-height and includes an enormous chandelier, original to the building. There is a rooftop swimming pool and apartments have large smoked-glass balconies.
S. J. Kessler and Sons | Bronze Plaque for Apartments | Extant | Jamaica | Apartment Building | 1958 |
While the main architects of The Highlander were the Kesslers, the lobby was designed by none other than architect Morris Lapidus, most well known for his exuberant Miami modern hotels. Lapidus was a prolific interior designer as well, creating high-style lobbies and lounges for his hotels as well as commercial establishments in New York City. Not much is known about what the lobby originally looked like here. The Highlander’s entrance is down a set of rambling stairs and originally had meandering paths and rock gardens flanking it. The apartments themselves were open plan to accommodate modern living. Fred Trump was the developer of the property.
Fellheimer and Wagner | Bronze Plaque for Apartments without Stores | Extant | Forest Hills Gardens | Apartment Building | 1948 |
The Leslie Apartments are an unusual Queens Modern award winner, a large apartment complex that brings together modern fire safety and conveniences with the strict old world design of the private community of Forest Hills Gardens. The building occupies a large triangular plot located not far from the main entrance to the Gardens and was the last building to be constructed, rising on the site of the Russell Sage Foundation’s sales office. The foundation was responsible for the development of this garden city style community. The Leslie itself is surrounded by a decorative wall and entered through arched brickwork or through the underground parking garage beneath the building. The building seems to have received its award partially for its novel approach to fire access which eliminated fire escapes while still providing two means of egress from each apartment. Today the high style historicist Leslie Apartments speak to an interesting marriage of modern convenience with historical design.