Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Meet the men responsible for this

Of course, they don't consider it to be Queens Crap. But we know it when we see it.

Developer Peter Balkheimer

Architect Peter Casini

Photo from AM-NY's tour of Elmhurst.

52 comments:

Moe said...

Balkheimer. What a perfect name.

Anonymous said...

What exactly don't you like about it? The Miami-style architecture? The size?

eamallc said...

Its really not that bad. Ive seen Waaaaaay worse. The deveoper and the architect both seem like nice fellows. They really did try to present something different for the neighborhood. This particular stretch of Queens Blvd. is incredibly dull and ugly. This does add a bright spot even though it could have been more innovative.

Anonymous said...

It's ugly, it's out of character and it totally ruins the feel of the landmarked Elks Club across the street.

Anonymous said...

Here we go...more Queens critics..."I've seen worse. It's not that bad."

Try getting away with saying this in an historic district.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, that's why we don't have many in Queens.

sick of ugly garbage said...

"This particular stretch of Queens Blvd. is incredibly dull and ugly"

Well, if this inspired architecture is supposed to be an improvement, we're in trouble. This thing is gross.

Anonymous said...

It's yellow like Vincent Van Gogh's house was. There I've managed to say something nice about this hideous monstrosity.

georgetheatheist said...

The Great Wall Supermarket featured herein has incredibly fresh fruit and vegetables...They kill the fish right there in front of you...I buy there all the time...Highly recommended! (There's another one in Woodside on 31st Avenue around 55th Street.)

Anonymous said...

It is out of character because it is not an boring box-like structure like most everything else near that location. If something is out of character because it looks better, that is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Peter Casini....oh yes ....

that Mies van der Rohe wannabee!
We all thought he had retired
from the New York scene to build down south somewhere!

Here's the scoop:
He teemed up early with the infamous Tommy Huang in the 1980s (both, apparently, "darlings" of the corrupt Manes era).

If you look at Huang's old headquarters on the south side of 39th Ave. (opposite the Municipal Parking Lot #1) in downtown Flushing ......you can still see Casini's name (top west elevation of building) and Bull's Head (one of Huang's old company names).

Another example of his pseudo sleek dated style
can be seen on the south side of Northern Blv'd. (near 160th St.) housing the Galaxy Cafe.

This "architect" who appears to be a legend in his own mind seems to be making a slow comeback.
I guess you can get away
with low design standards in Queens.
I doubt if any high end developer in Manhattan
would employ Casini as their "architect" !

Let's all Google his web site and see what other atrocities he's designed !

I'll bet Helen Marshal & Co. think that Casini's edifices are the cat's meow .
(Provincial minds are so easily impressed
with ersatz "style").

Footnote:
About a year or two after Casini & Huang's
Muni Lot #1 Flushing building went up.....
2 glass exterior panels already needed replacement.

As for the Galaxy Cafe job near 160th Street......
all the exterior tile flooring cracked , lifted up and had to be replaced with cement .
These materials couldn't withstand our temperate climate changes and should have never been used....a poor engineering consideration!

Anonymous said...

It looks like the truncated east corner
of Wilpon's City Fields (Mets) Stadium that's in the process of going up.

Maybe (???) Casini got pissed off at not being selected to do the new Met's stadium job....so he just tore off a piece of the rendering and re-hashed it
for the Balkheimer project.

Anonymous said...

Further down Queens Blvd, The Miami Vice style blue building and the one across the street are also Cassini concoctions.

Both are owned by Baharestani.

connie said...

Flushing Hospital lost millions $$$ because of Casini.

faster340 said...

I like it. I think it's interesting. I makes me think of vacation in Florida... At least its architecture is not totally geared towards maximum occupancy. Someone at the drawing board had some creativity for a change...

Anonymous said...

"Its really not that bad. Ive seen Waaaaaay worse."

Maybe our friend can give us examples. Stuff that is worse than this should be torn down.

As a matter of fact, we know a lot of buildings in Queens that ahve been torn down. Really 'bad' stuff. It is so great for them to be replaced by examples like this.

Not.

Anonymous said...

"The Great Wall Supermarket featured herein has incredibly fresh fruit and vegetables"

I like to dine in Elmhurst. Clean places. Body parts on the plate you never find in Manhattan.

A sort of man vs nature right before your eyes.

A booming tourist mecca.

Anonymous said...

Elmurst is a real 'Mecca' alright, for the tweeded.

and the only tourists you find there are on expired visas...

Anonymous said...

Oh come on now, Elmhurst might be the ugliest community in Queens, but there are parts of Flushing, Jamaica, Corona, S Ozone Park, and now even Astoria that rival it.

Funny, there are poor immigrant comunities in the other boroughs but none manage to take the level of bad taste to that of Queens.

How does this happen?

Anonymous said...

It's official, the crapper hates everything.

Pros of this development:

-On Queens blvd and likely replaced a one story building or parking lot

-Curved facade unlike 99.99% of Queens buildings. It breaks the box

-No Fedders

-Queens blvd is the place for 6 story buildings. Better here than on a side street w/ victorians right?

Cons? I can't think of any.

Anonymous said...

I think that the writers of this blog are reincarnated from the Victorian Era, so they dont understand anything modern. Guess what? Its 2007 people, wake up! We shouldnt be building the past. Unlike others here, I know first hand that the apartments are actually very nice.

georgetheatheist said...

Question. What happens when you mix together Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenhem with verandas for bicycle storage and barbecuing?

Answer. The "oeuvre" of Balkheimer/Cassini.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sure they're nice...if you want an apartment that overlooks a noisy, polluted boulevard. You can get a bird's eye view of the accidents on the Blvd de Muerte! These units have been for sale for months and no one seems to be buying.

eamallc said...

Ive never seen such a bunch of crybabies! Im shocked my simple comment brought such outrage.Look people, you need to ease up a bit.

I never said this was great outstanding superb achitecture.

Its average, not a great effort but an effort nonetheless and Ive seen much much much worse. Most it right here on Queenscrap. Just take a walk over to Grand Ave. just off of Queens Blvd. by the firehouse. You will see one of the worst piles of crap ever. It looks like an apartment prison designed to shovel in as many people as humanly possible.

My point was that the two guys seem genuine and didnt set out to create crap. They genuinely wanted to create something new and different even if its of somewhat dubious taste. I think their intentions were good and what we got was a wierd looking building which is not great but not horrendous either. A disappointment.

The stretch of Queens Blvd. in question is not great. It is dull ugly and boring. Its East Elmhurst NOT Forest Hills. So get a grip.
Queens Blvd never struck me as a pretty strip anyway. I always thought Union Turnpike had a nicer feel and look.

Anonymous said...

I think we'd love modern architecture
when there's something good in it to love.

Le Courbusier, Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, I.M.Pei, etc. are some of the greater modern architects.
We wouldn't mind seeing their buildings in Queens !

Peter Casini, on the other hand, is a pretentious hack
who is unable to score anything but mediocre commissions from equally unimpressive developers !

Anonymous said...

That "Victorian era" poster is, obviously
the rental or sales agent.....
or maybe he's a resident of the building
and has taste that really sucks !

Anonymous said...

The building really does look like a portion of a ball stadium, as a earlier commentator pointed out, especially with that digital scoreboard looking thing out front, which might as well say:

Crappy Developers: 27
Residents of Queens: 0

Anonymous said...

I remember that Casini fiasco "Connie".....on the west side of Parsons Blv'd. wasn't it.....next to the old
Flushing Hospital Nursing School or Residence.
Wasn't it vacant for years after it was built?

Someone told me that Tommy Huang
was in on that job with Casini.

Is that true?

Anonymous said...

Phillip Johnson's
New York State Pavillion (1964 Worlds Fair) isn't "Victorian" and we love it.

Why? Because it was designed
by a premiere architect who was also
the same genius that designed the Opera House
in the Lincoln Center complex.

You see, we're very open minded.

But we do insist on quality
in OLD or MODERN architecture
not the application of cheap design motifs
by poorly schooled pretenders to the craft.

Anonymous said...

Eamallc: The road to crap is paved with good intentions...

Anonymous said...

This is not East Elmhurst. This is Elmhurst proper, and right smack in the center of it.

georgetheatheist said...

"Le Courbusier [sic], Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, I.M.Pei, etc. are some of the great modern architects. We wouldn't mind seeing their buildings in Queens!"

You left out the work of Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser! Man-o-man, I'd like to see some of THAT stuff here in Queens.

P.S. You really want to see Le Corbusier's work?. His inspired Cabrini Green Houses in Chicago (now demolished) were replete with gang-related activities: drugs, prostitution, shootings.

Anonymous said...

Given a choice of the 2 "Cs"....
I'll take Le Corbusier over Casini any day George
(but maybe way out on a remote beach
in the far Rockaways)!

connie said...

The Casini Medical Arts building at Delaware and Parsons. Smack up against the Flushing Hospital School of Nursing. Numerous violations, couldn’t get a C/O and stood vacant for years. Casini (Petcas Management) lost the property via a court case in 80's. I don't know if Huang was involved.

georgetheatheist said...

Manhattan has the Guggenheim.

Queens has the Gaggenheim.

Anonymous said...

Good one George.

verdi said...

Ditto !
George....you've topped yourself on that last one!
Bravo!

cosimo said...

Cacinna de Casini.
(I hope I spelled that right).
Italian for Casini Crap!

Anonymous said...

Elmhurst is, point blank, a complete and utter shit-hole. That these guys come along and want to improve it should be lauded, not criticized. Someone here mentioned the Elks Club building. That dump is a disgrace that should be torn down or cleaned up. The particular stretch of low-rise zero-ville needs more architecture that has some clean lines and character. I love how the Queens Crap team literally abhors any change no matter what that change is. They'd prefer the used car lots and one-story dumps that line QB. Queens Crap has become the irrelevent voice of a crotchety old geezer griping about everything them youngins do. Gol-durn youngins.

faster340 said...

"Le Courbusier [sic], Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, I.M.Pei, etc. are some of the great modern architects. We wouldn't mind seeing their buildings in Queens!"

If there were these kind of Architects in this day and age and there are, who the hell could afford them?

Only Donald Trump or similar could afford such talent. Bloomie wants affordable housing for the masses "outside of Manhattan" but such housing wouldn't be affordable if legendary (current) architects did the work...

I really wonder if all you people spouting these names could even afford to hire one of them yourselves when you slap that second floor on your house. My point being is that most of these developers that actually are on the up and up and trying to build affordable housing can only use a designer that's within their budget.

Also the material that we have to build with nowadays is total CRAP! and to even get the good materials such as marble and granite costs an arm and a leg compared to the styrofoam designs they are putting on these buildings.

The fact that the developers of this building put any style in this project at all is a total plus in my book.

It could have just been another box in Queens...

"crotchety old geezer" said...

If you like this building of Casini's so much why don't you pay a visit to his other Medical Arts building -- and get your head examined!

Anonymous said...

Ismael Leyva, a world-renowned architect who designed the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, designed the Windsor in Forest Hills. Of course, bloggers on this site criticized the Windsor too.

Anonymous said...

I don't think people would be so against development in their neighborhood if the design was appealing to the eye. Most of the new construction looks like a box, with no curb appeal. There is mostly cement and not enough green space. Find designers that have a vision of an asthetic community and these designs wouldn't look so out of place.

Anonymous said...

It's not that bad. It just seems out of place. It belongs more in Miami. That corner was ugly, drab, and the Elks Club doesn't give it a better image either. It's falling apart itself. This new building simply does not belong amongst the old ones, but i guess they are not building 19th century houses anymore!

georgetheatheist said...

The beautiful apartments in the Jackson Heights Historic District built in the 1920's.

The beautiful Sunnyside Phipps Gardens apartments built in the early 1930's.

The beautiful apartments north of Queens Blvd. on Yellowstone.

The beautiful Boulevard Garden apartments in Woodside.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

What is in the air, what is in the water that produces CRAP like this?

Is it the Zeitgeist? Why can't some of these guys with big bucks design and build like in "the good old days"?

Anonymous said...

Crappy buildings are just cheaper to produce, allowing developers to make larger profits on them. That's all they really care about.

Anonymous said...

Being world renown alone doesn't make you great.
Tommy Huang is just about "world renown" for his infamy.

And the Time Warner Center was
a piece of Manhattan crap the day it went up.

Ditto for the Ismael Leyva's Windsor !

mazeartist said...

The Windsor Tower is ok, but nobody i know can afford it. Can you?

Anonymous said...

to the person that points to the elk club, although a nice structure, its maintained as if it sits in newark.

as for the building at issue

I LOVE IT

better than the 6 story brick 1950s crap that rests to its east

Anonymous said...

Just by the design of this site, I can tell the author of this site has no design sense.So what makes you the authority on what is crap or not? Choice of colors, font and layout all point to a person with absolutely no design aesthetic at all. I would like to get a look at the way you, and other supporting patrons of this blog dress, let alone design a building. I wont even get into personality, you sound like a bunch of fun people to be around.

Queens Crapper said...

This post is 2 weeks old. Time to move on, bud.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes... move on. Never comment on old posts. Blogs exist so that we forget as soon as we learn. Get angry! Make noise! Move on!