Queens Clock Tower Designated As Landmark

The Manhattan Bank Building in Long Island City, Queens. Image credit: LPC

The Manhattan Bank Building in Long Island City, Queens. Image credit: LPC

Building was known as “Queens’ first skyscraper”.  On May 12, 2015 the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate the former Bank of Manhattan Company’s Long Island City branch building at 29-27 Queens Plaza North as an individual City landmark.  Also known as the Queens Clock Tower, the building was designed by architect Morrell Smith, a Queens native, and first opened in 1927.  The proposed landmarking first received a public hearing on April 21, 2015.

In its designation, the Commission noted that despite alterations to the base in the 1960s, the tower’s neo-Gothic style elevations remain well-preserved, including small rooftop reliefs incorporating images of the bank’s initials and its symbol, the Greek god Oceanus.  The Commission also noted the slender clock tower at the top of the building, incorporating four large glass faces on each side with Roman numerals.

In a statement, LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said ““For nearly a century, the Queens Clock Tower building has been one of Long Island City’s most recognizable structures, greeting hundreds of thousands of commuters as they enter the borough.  The Commission is proud to recognize this iconic building, which represents a significant period of development in Long Island City.”

LPC: The Bank of Manhattan Company Long Island City Branch Building, 29-27 Queens Plaza North, Queens (LP-2570) (May 12, 2015).

By:  Michael Twomey (Michael is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2014).

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