Upon the forming of the United Nations after World War II, its temporary headquarters were put in Flushing Meadows Park. Hundreds of workers needed housing nearby. With the help of Robert Moses and John D. Rockefeller Jr., and the blessing of Mayor William O’Dwyer, a 37-acre site in Briarwood was selected, bounded by Main Street, Parsons Boulevard, Union Turnpike and the Grand Central Parkway service road. Parkway Village was born.
Two- and three-storyred brick buildings accented with white columns were designed by architect Leonard Schultz. Then 70, Schultz had a long list of achievements in his career, including the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Parkway Village was a near clone of Parkfairfax, a complex Schultz had designed in Alexandra, Va., which was built in 1941-42.
Parkway’s 675 units in 109 buildings were converted to co-ops in 1982. The City Landmarks Commission rejected preservation bids in 1997 and 2000. Seeing the complex’s heating and asbestos problems, developers wanted to build high rises on the site. However, its R-4 zoning prevented anything taller than three stories.
Despite its past problems, Parkway Village’s lush landscaping and attractive design still command around $225,000 for a co-op, with a monthly maintenance bill of about $1,000 a month. It’s a one-of-a-kind development in Queens.