A Forest Hills gem: The Alberta, built in ’23 1
A 1923 architect’s rendering of The Alberta, located at 2 Roman Ave., today’s 108-22 72 Ave., in Forest Hills.

The oldest apartment building in Forest Hills outside of the Gardens I have found to be The Alberta. John S. Myers of Manhattan was the builder, and he named the structure after his mother.

In 1922 Myers hired architect Rudolf C.P. Boehler to design a four-story luxury walk-up building at what was then 2 Roman Ave. Boehler worked mainly in Manhattan, from 1920 to 1954, and this was his only project in Queens.

Through a beautiful marble covered vestibule you enter The Alberta’s spacious, artistically treated reception room, from where marble stairs lead to the apartments.

One of the selling points was Myers’ willingness to arrange the color scheme in accordance with tenants’ wishes if leases were signed before completion of the building. Inspection began in late September 1923 and it was ready for occupancy on Oct. 15. Expensive for its time, The Alberta’s A and B line of four-room apartments cost $145 a month, the three-room C and E line was $110 and the two-room D was $85.

Another selling point was that, as advertised, the apartments had a commanding view overlooking Queens Boulevard to Kew Gardens in one direction and Jackson Heights and Elmhurst in the other.

The building has been renumbered 108-22 72 Ave. but retains the name Alberta. After 88 years it is in pristine condition, and serious thought should be given to its preservation as buildings like this will never be constructed again in Forest Hills. With the very high value of the land alone, this beauty could be put in danger of destruction at some point.

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