Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Towers, Jackson Heights, Queens, New York

Jackson Heights holds a unique place in 20th century urban planning. Edward MacDougal's Queensboro Corporation, inspired by the English "Garden City" movement, developed the first planned apartment community, including the spectacular 6-story Towers apartments, designed by Andrew Thomas in 1924. Located on 80th to 81st Streets between 34th Avenue and Northern Blvd., the Italian-villa style roofs and gardens designed by Noel Chamberlain are the most luxurious apartments designed in the era. Thomas only covered 38% of the land with 8 buildings, each separated by 37 feet. Note the griffins above the entry gates. The garden features a baldachino (marble canopy). Unfortunately, the complex was flawed in that the apartments were too expensive. The 96 apartments were sold at a loss under $25,000. The Jackson Heights Beautification Group opens the gardens to the public once a year in June.

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