CORD MEYER HOUSES

87-04 to 87-20 Elmhurst Avenue, 1912
Judge Street, 1904
Corner of Hampton St. and 43rd Avenue, 1897
Cord Meyer Development Company

Throughout the 20th century, the Cord Meyer Development Company played a significant role in Queens development. Led by Cord Meyer Jr., the Meyer brothers-sons of a German immigrant originally focused development in Elmhurst in 1893, when they purchased a farm in Newtown from Samuel Lord, co-founder of Lord & Taylor. They renamed the area Elmhurst, laid out subdivisions and streets, installed sewers, and established trolley connections. The company’s success inspired a number of imitators, but none of them had the financial backing and personal commitment of the Cord Meyer Company.

Some of Cord Meyer’s developments still survive in Elmhurst, like a row of Colonial houses with peaked roofs covered in green terra-cotta tile built in 1912 on the south side of Elmhurst Avenue, between Hampton and Ithaca Streets, and a group of brick English townhouses built in 1904 on Judge Street, between Whitney and Elmhurst Avenues. Besides house building, Meyer also developed store buildings for his new residents, the first three of which went up on 43rd Avenue at Hampton Street, and the first opened for business in 1897. Only one of these buildings remains, at the corner of Hampton Street and 43rd Avenue. By the late 1920’s, the steady rise in the cost of land soon forced the transition to five and six-story apartment houses that occupied the whole building lot. The Cord Meyer Company responded to this trend by building in 1928 Hasting Court Apartments (40-40 Elbertson St) and Alida Court (87-15 Britton Ave).

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