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Queens Chronicle

Frank T. Lang Building, Middle Village

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Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2008 12:00 am

The Frank T. Lang Building in Middle Village stands as a testament of the German-American craftsmen who once populated the area.

Frank Lang built the massive structure early in the 20th century indicating the quality of his work. He was a builder of mausoleums and monuments and created many beautiful stone buildings in Lutheran and Saint John’s Cemetery, above-ground burial places for borough residents who could afford such an extravagance.

There are gargoyles projecting from the roof of his building as if to protect it, whileat the same time showcasing his great work. Under part of the building, an H.C. Bohack gasoline station marks the spot where another German-American created a supermarket empire that lasted into the 1960s.

Shown in the photo is the famous Calvary line trolley car that brought people back and forth to work here. Due to pressure from the city, the trolley service was shut down in October 1937 and replaced with city buses.

In 1941, with the opening of the new Middle Village post office, this building, formerly part of Maspeth, was annexed and became part of the new Middle Village.

In 1946 the mausoleum and monument business ceased as it became too expensive, with families of deceased loved ones choosing other options for burial.

And with plenty of German immigrants after World War II, three large knitting mills were opened in the building, named Butcher’s, Lorinda and Ringel. Meanwhile, Bohack got out of the gas station business and the station went through a succession of owners.

Today the sturdy building, over 100 years old, proudly endures as a lasting monument to the great works once produced here and stands as an unofficial Middle Village landmark.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Chuck posted at 6:31 am on Wed, Jan 22, 2014.

    Chuck Posts: 1

    I remember this building as a kid. We would drive from Floral Park to my Grandmothers in Middle Village and pass by this building on our way. I believe there were gas pumps still "inside" or under the roof. After my Grandmother moved in with us in the early 80's I never forgot this building. Seeing this building in pictures bring back painful feelings because my Grandmother is no longer with us, but happy ones too because of the happy times we had. I wish when I was a kid I would have had the wisdom of architecture and what value pictures have in life. If I did then I would have asked my parents to take pictures of this building in the 70's. I am recreating this building in a 3d model program. I wish I knew exact dimensions so I could make it to scale.