Department of Health, Education & Welfare

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This former New York City government office building is today barely recognizable under layers of signage as a 99 cents discount store with a daycare center on the upper floor. The project that received an award was not the initial construction in 1958 but rather an alteration in 1962 to add an additional floor as well as a second entrance and elevator. White brick, glass and aluminum are the main materials here. Sitting immediately adjacent to the elevated subway line, it is hard to see the building in full or appreciate the elements of modern design that were so striking when it was originally built.

Monterisi Residence

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The Monterisi residence has more of a West Coast vibe than many of the other homes in the immediate area. The building consists of a two story wing with a garage below and a recessed entrance on the left side of the house. The predominant elements are wood and stone and the house is surrounded by mature plantings which were the work of Alfred Gusman of Little Neck.

Mater Christi High School

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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.

St. Gertrude’s Auditorium

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St. Gertrude’s auditorium is one of architect John O’Malley’s lesser works. The building is a large rectangular auditorium with a separate entrance connected to the rear of the existing, older St. Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Church. Today the building is closed and decaying on a stretch of the Rockaways filled with new construction but also numerous empty lots.