I was stopped on the railroad on Tuesday right in front of what may be the most iconic, emblematic Fedders building I’ve seen in Queens, on 44th Avenue in Corona facing the LIRR embankment.
It’s all here… the concrete lawn with sport utility vehicle parking, the Fedders AC cutouts, the meters front and center, the bland blond brick, the rusted fire escapes. The only nod to any design at all is a little flourish in the brickwork. Bars on the windows just add to the whole package.
Lest you think I’m literally looking down my nose at this stuff, I’ve been lower middle class my whole life, and up until the 1980s or so, ‘affordable’ attached housing was actually built with discreetly hidden meters, actual grass in the front and fire escapes in the back — or around a central terrace of green grass and trees.
But developers don’t build houses like that anymore for a certain price.