The Toy & Novelty Workers building is a two-story complex of beige brick with striking decorative elements of sky blue enamel panels and a yellow metal decorative screen. The original signage remains on the building but it seems to house a daycare center now. It is a fitting repurposing of a toy-making union and the decorative details harmonize well with the playground equipment now present in the entrance courtyard.
The Leo Kearns series of funeral home facilities are unique within the Queens Modern lexicon, featuring elements of West Coast modernism and showing the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, both rarities in the borough’s mid-century design. The former executive office building, now a daycare center is much more restrained than the two extant funeral homes, and is largely a brick cube with simple limestone and granite detailing. Raymond Irrera did this building and one of the two funeral buildings, with Meisner doing the other, so its unclear why the Kearns company employed a more restrained style here.
The Tymon Building is a fun, quirky survivor. A multipurpose commercial building that would look right at home in Los Angeles, this one resides instead on Woodhaven Boulevard. The building features a wide variety of exterior finishes, from circular metal grillwork on the corner stairtower to blue enamel panels and from a glass wall exposing the staircase on the side elevation to stone finishes along the ground floor. This design best showcases architect Jerome Perlstein’s interest in exterior finishes.
The Mount Lebanon Cemetery administrative offices are housed in this understated building just inside the cemetery gates. Built on a slope, there is a parking lot on either side of the site. The building itself is clad in brick and has had several additions added or spaces enclosed. The structure can still be identified by the vertical pylon to the right of the entrance. The Brooklyn-based architect Martyn Weston is buried in the cemetery not very far away from this award-winning structure he designed.
The first Borough’s Outstanding Award was presented in 1953 to the Bulova Watch complex. This monumental building uses a severely classical design, evoking many European and American classical municipal structures from the 1930s. Alexander Crossett was not a prominent architect of the period so it is unclear why he was offered such a major commission. Most of his other buildings in the city were small utilitarian industrial buildings. However Aymar Embery III, Robert Moses’ chief architect and designer of many of the Depression-era pool and recreational complexes across the city was the consulting architect here, which could explain the strong 1930s classical evocation. The design was inspired by the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, DC.