Statement of the Historic Districts Council

Designation Hearing

March 22, 2011

Item 5

LP – 2461


HAWTHORNE COURT APARTMENTS, 215-37 to 215-43 43rd Avenue and 42-26 to 42-38 216th Street

The Historic Districts Council is the advocate for New York City’s designated historic districts and neighborhoods meriting preservation.

In the far edges of Queens where Bayside merges into Little Neck among rows of developments dating from the first half of the last century, most of the house designs rarely come off as more than undistinguished.  Yet almost everywhere there are surprises, often pleasant and sometimes extraordinary, to startle the wanderer.  In this section of Bayside neo-Tudor houses, a style that enjoyed a brief vogue in the twenties and thirties of the last century, scatter their charms of varying effectiveness over quite a large area.  Even so, for a visitor to come up on a grouping so remarkable as Hawthorne Court on the northwest corner of 43rd Avenue and 216th Street gives special pleasure.

Part of its effectiveness is based on the fact that the site fills a large corner lot that allows a group of good-size and handsome apartment houses to enclose a small network of seemingly random but actually carefully arranged group of picturesque buildings accessed by artfully winding paths leading to a central courtyard partially bounded by largely brick-walled units topped with steeply pitched slate roofs.  Once within the grouping, the visitor feels strongly enclosed by roofs and walls variegated with different motifs and materials but all artfully disposed.  Windows of an array of shapes and materials further vary the experience.  Small as the development is, it is so cleverly enclosed and the welcoming ungated paths lead the visitor so ingeniously through well-maintained tress and plantings of various size and age that a striking unity of character creates a remarkable experience that one hates to leave.

This remarkable grouping is fully worthy of designation.

Posted Under: Bayside, The Politics of Preservation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *