The Cord Meyer Office Building is a late gasp of corporate modernism in Queens. Cord Meyer was responsible for much of the development of Forest Hills, developing housing from the turn of the century through the 1980s and later switching efforts to coop conversions and real estate management. Their nine-story office building occupies a prominent intersection in Forest Hills along Queens Boulevard, standing conspiciously among significantly lower-rise residential neighbors. The building is clad in a bronze-colored aluminum and glass exterior curtain wall capped by a masonry tower at one end. The whole building floats above a commercial base which has been altered. The Building Award still hangs inside the lobby entrance.
The backstory of this set of rather modest, apartment-style, attached residences comes courtesy of Leo Fakler, a partner in the firm which designed the project, Fakler & Horowitz. The partners met in the offices of the Lefrak Organization’s go-to architect, Jack Brown, and worked on several major projects, including the award-winning Lefrak City. They set out on their own in 1961, partnering together until the late 1960s. Give the date of this structure, this would have been one of their last projects completed together. As Mr. Fakler states, developers were very busy in 1968 rushing to complete projects before the major NYC zoning changes took place and the speculative Jardan Residences was one of many projects the firm was involved with at the time. The developer was Howard Miller, who had also worked for Jack Brown, until he set out on his own. The residences are of brown brick and have a series of exterior balconies and staircases, providing access and privacy. The base of the building is a series of rounded arches with parking available in front.
The front facade of this community center is dominated by a tiled mosaic in bright oranges and reds above the entrance and fronting a center stairhall. The rest of the exterior is tan brick with limestone trim. The award program also claims the building featured a motorized assembly hall, an unusual descriptor that could possibly refer to the ability to alter the space to serve other purposes.
This building is a typical suburban style office structure of two floors featuring rows of international style windws and minimal exterior decoration. The structure was created by rehabilitating an older mixed use building in disrepair through years of neglect into a new, modern building for social services provided to youth with special needs. In 2006, NYABIC left the building and it has since become Chabad Lubavitch of Northeastern Queens.
The Queens Zoo restaurant building, a circular pavilion of reinforced concrete and floor-to-ceiling glass, is still in daily use. In addition to the central structure, there is an adjacent brick service wing and curvilinear walls extending out next to it. The entire complex sits at the top of descending levels of terraces with trees, seating, and paved surfaces.