This major addition to the Queens College campus received a Special Bronze Plaque in 1961. Containing new theaters, classrooms, workshops, rehearsal spaces, a television studio, and a speech clinic, each component of the complex is a different shape. Two major theater spaces, the Colden Auditorium (originally seating 2,143) and the Queens College Theatre (seating 500) face out onto the street, while the rest of the complex faces inward. The other components are separate music and speech wings and a speech clinic. Unusually, the central component is an outdoor amphitheatre accessed by covered walkways between the classroom wings. All buildings are clad in white brick with some accents in light blue. Original metal lettering is visible throughout. From 2010-2012, the theater spaces and music building were renovated and updated by WASA Studio A, the successor firm to the original architects Fellheimer and Wagner. But other than the exterior of the Colden Auditorium, most visible major changes occurred on the interior of the complex.
This building shows the continued move toward the minimalism of the 1970s with its largely unadorned facade of brick with plain window treatments and bold geometry of the sloped roofs above the entrance housing skylights for the interior spaces below. It was originally built as an Jewish Orthodox high school. However by 1981 the school had closed and today it is home to the Beth Gavriel Center, a Bucharian Jewish congregation.
George Sole, this building’s architect, is known mostly for designing buildings for the Catholic dioceses including prominent commissions at JFK Airport and near the United Nations. Here however, he designed an international-style public school on a steeply sloping site. The entrance, at the intersection of 60th Avenue and Marathon Parkway is one-story, clad in fieldstone and topped with a curved roof overhang. The school then spreads out behind the entrance, dropping to five stories above ground at the rear of the site. Other materials used include blue and red brickface, tan enamel panels, and aluminum detailing at the entrances and window surrounds.
This three-story school building is sited on a corner lot with the entrance on the side street. Like many religious schools of this time period, the materials are simple. The aluminum windows are surrounded by concrete framing and a large concrete cross dominates the corner brick stairtower. To the right of the entrance staircase is a perpendicular concrete wall with abstract cross motifs and to the left of the entrance doors is a striking mosaic of St. Elizabeth.
Stickle and Associates were a prominent Cleveland-based firm responsible for Catholic schools across the country. Mater Christi might be one of their best locally, sited in a quiet area of Astoria, and featuring two massive wings to hold separate high schools for boys and girls. The top floor originally held faculty housing for the Sisters of Mercy and De La Salle Christian Brothers. Brick, limestone and black granite compose the architectural details with black and gold mosaic panels around the entrance. Not mentioned in the awards summary but equally interesting are the decorative crests that line the ends of each wing closest to street level. The school merged with St. John’s Preparatory School in 1980 and continues as a private school today.