The former Shell station consists of a plain brick building with four bays and a hipped roof at the rear of the lot. The site is now used as parking for a nearby restaurant. While not particularly interesting, the service station was designed by Lama, Proskauer, Prober, a prolific but largely unheralded firm, that designed hundreds of buildings, mainly service stations, but also apartment complexes across the city. The firm was active for a long span of time, from the 1920s until at least the 1980s. As real estate prices have continued to rise and service stations, especially in Manhattan, have been replaced by new development, this firm’s body of work is rapidly shrinking.
The basic shape of this curved corner commercial site is still visible although otherwise largely altered. The original design attempted to be classic yet contemporary by being both low-scale with numerous windows and use of elegant materials such as limestone, white marble, stainless steel, and granite. There were also originally numerous neon signs advertising the commercial establishments located here, although not referenced in the award program. Today the building is a bank and over the entrance in the recessed curve is a large mural of the sites of Forest Hills, a fitting addition to a commercial building built and owned by the company that developed much of the surrounding neighborhood.
The Water’s Edge Building is one of the few intentionally temporary structures in the Queens Modern pantheon. It was constructed by the Birchwood Park Organization as a showroom for the neighboring Water’s Edge community, a large planned development that also won its own award. The exhibit center included a landscaped garden, a model of the entire Water’s Edge community, and access to model homes. In the late 1960s it was replaced with a somewhat banal group of townhouses.
A large auto showroom and repair garage, Village Chevrolet has since been replaced by a contemporary school building. the original structure was a typical auto facility of steel and brick construction with large window expanses along the street and a circular showroom. While primarily horizontal, there was a vertical chimney with the Chevrolet name on it to attract passerby. The company’s name was also present in large neon lettering across the parapet. This facility seems to have been one of a number in the area, with a vintage Ford sign still visible across the street and a motorcycle repair shop immediately next door.
This commercial facility was built to replace the previous structure which burned down in a major fire the year before. Glendale Lumber has existed in this location since its founding in 1920 by Edward Wagner and remains owned by the Wagner family. The design is utilitarian while also employing popular finishes of the period such as aluminium framed windows, terrazzo flooring, and wood paneling. The complex remains remarkably intact down to the unique 1960s pebble-globe chandelier in the showroom designed by Mrs. Jack Wagner Sr. Behind the showroom and offices in the main storage warehouse is the original modular shelving system imported from England in the early 1960s, which is still in use today. Special thanks to Lance Wagner Sr. and the Wagner Family for the tour of their facility.