33-00 Northern Boulevard

Albert Kahn, c. 1914; expansion: John Graham, c. 1914

Now known as the Center Building, 33-00 Northern Boulevard was completed in 1914 as the Ford Assembly and Service Center of Long Island City. This section of Queens was nicknamed Detroit East in the early 20th century due to its concentration of automobile concerns, including Brewster, Ford and Standard Motor Products. The original section of the building, designed by Albert Kahn, primarily fronts Honeywell Avenue and only stretches along Northern Boulevard for three bays. An expansion designed by John Graham increased the factory’s capacity by 400%, but the building was sold in 1921 and saw a variety of tenants including Goodyear Tires, the Durant Motor Company and Roto-Broil, an electric kitchen appliance that debuted in the 1950s. The dark red brick building, enhanced by white terra cotta ornamentation throughout the façade, features a series of iconic balconies that serve as a “fire tower” and means of egress in case of emergency.