BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
The clock is ticking.
With the recent purchase of the clock tower building at Queens Plaza in Long Island City, Michael Hall and Matthew Chrislip of the new design and architecture coalition +Partners are hoping to quickly inspire community support for landmarking the structure.
The residential development firm Criterion Group bought the building for $15 million.
Hall and Chrislip filed Requests for Evaluation with the Landmarks Preservation Committee before the tower was sold, based solely on its architectural merit, they said. However, in light of the development, the pair visited Community Board 1 last week to encourage “an immediate and strong show of community support.”
By landmarking the clock tower, Hall said, the community could rest assured that any changes to the building would be “appropriate and respectful.”
“We’re just hoping to make sure that the exterior remains in tact and preserved,” Chrislip added.
The building is currently under review by the LPC, according to spokesperson Damaris Olivo.
At 14 stories, the building was the tallest in Queens until the construction of the Citi tower in 1990. With rapid development transforming Long Island City into a taller, denser neighborhood, Hall and Chrislip said they hope to preserve its visibility and significance.
Decorative crests, monograms and gargoyles, vertical bands of contrasting brick and the clock face itself are among some of the building’s design features cited by Hall and Chrislip as singular. Hall also noted that the tower retains an “unusually high” percentage of its original material.
“It’s part of the neighborhood’s identity,” Hall said. “There’s a lot of development happening in Long Island City right now, especially around Queens Plaza, so historic buildings with a great civic presence like that connect the area to its roots in an important way.”
Hall and Chrislip urged interested parties to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A representative for Shibber Khan, who heads the Criterion Group, said he is not commenting on plans for the clock tower building at this time.
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, email@example.com or @JNStrawbridge.