Bulova Watch Company Building

75-20 Astoria Boulevard
Alexander D. Crossett & Associates, Aymar Embury II consulting architect

This 400,000-square-foot complex was built to house offices, state-of-the-art laboratories (occupied by 140 research scientists), extensive manufacturing facilities (staffed by 2,000 workers), a 500-car parking garage and a public recreation field. Founded in 1875 as the J. Bulova Company, the firm achieved fame both for its innovative timepiece designs and marketing campaigns. In the 1920s it produced some of the earliest radio advertisements, and in 1941 aired what is considered the first television commercial. Bulova also affiliated itself with the burgeoning aerospace industry, offering Charles Lindbergh a prize for his pioneering trans-Atlantic flight and sending watches to the Moon with NASA astronauts. Inspired by the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, DC, this limestone-clad building’s style is a bit old fashioned for its time of construction. Its Stripped Classical design more closely resembles buildings from the 1930s, such as the New York City Building from the 1939 World’s Fair, also designed by Embury. Nevertheless, it won the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Building Award in 1953.