Picotte Hall was built in 1976 according to Albany property records. However the design evokes an earlier period with metal ribbon windows, yellow brick, and a curved glass block entrance above a granite base. The rest of the College of St. Rose is elsewhere in Albany, but this building sits on State Street among older, Victorian residences.
This building, built between 1960 and 1964, stands out quite a bit on this corner of Brooklyn, otherwise surrounded by larger rowhouses and religious institutions. I imagine it continues to serve as a placeholder for future development. It was originally built as a doctor’s office and retains its original white brick and blue enamel paneled facade and flat metal-edged roof.
There is not always a lot of information to glean on some mid-century structures, at least from a cursory investigation. But their design and intact nature still make them worthy of featuring here. Below are a few structures from a recent trip to Englewood and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
600 Palisades Avenue, Englewood
Former bank at 750 E. Palisades Avenue, Englewood Cliffs
610 Palisades Avenue, Englewood
entrance at 616 Palisades Ave, Englewood
Mid-Century Mundane was started as a website looking to document just a fragment of the mid-century regional and vernacular architecture out there. And now we take our next big step with a more robust project to examine a specific grouping of such architecture.
Over the next year, I will be researching and documenting more than 400 buildings and sites in the borough of Queens, built between 1945 and 1970. The purpose of this project will be to examine the larger significance of regional modernism and its impact on the development of Queens and New York City as a whole.
I look forward to sharing more as this project develops. The end goal is a small exhibition/publication on these buildings, but even more relevant, a separate but related website to Mid-Century Mundane, that documents those buildings that remain. Stay tuned!
Frampton, Mid-Century Mundane
The Rego Park Jewish Center is a transitional modern structure dating from 1948. The architects were Frank Grad and Sons, noted for their extensive work in Newark and other parts of New Jersey. They also did some other notable New York buildings such as Essex House in Manhattan. The longstanding firm closed in 2010, victims of the faltering economy.
Above the entrance doors is a colorful mosaic by the artist A. Raymond Katz. The interior is equally engaging and includes several stained glass windows by Katz. Views of the sanctuary can be seen here. The building is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places and seems to be well cared for and appreciated by its congregation.
This week we are featuring two 1970s Greek Orthodox churches, St. Nicholas in Flushing, and this one here. Surrounding by high rise housing, the original c. 1918 church on this site must have been one of the oldest structures in the immediate neighborhood and was the acting Greek Orthodox cathedral in New York at several times. However in 1973, the existing building burned down and was quickly replaced by the current one in 1974. The architect was Steven Papadatos, who started his firm in the early 70s, so this would have been one of his first projects. They have gone on to do more than 20 eastern churches in the region.
Seen from this angle, we can see how the church is isolated among the large open spaces of the neighboring brick residential towers. The central dome, a typical element of this type of church, can also be seen from this angle. The front facade seems a bit jumbled with several random elements, including a one story entrance porch with tile roof. However the interior is of traditional ornate design and can be seen here.
Dating from 1972 is St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The church is located in the Flushing neighborhood in Queens. It was designed by Raymond & Rado & Partners, a firm which consisted of Antonin Raymond, a Czech architect, much more well-known in Japan for his work on Frank Lloyd Wright’s projects and for his own early Japanese modernism. His business partner, Ladislav Rado, was based in New York and probably was responsible for the design here. This project dates toward the end of their firm’s existence.