Still called the Paragon Building, but today a warehouse at Hunters Point Avenue and 21st Street just west of Skillman Avenue’s western end, this compact brick building still emblazoned with Paragon Oil’s distinctive logotype housed the company’s offices.
Paragon Oil was founded by brothers Henry, Irving, Robert, Benjamin, and Arnold Schwartz. The family designed and built the first oil heaters designed for residential buildings. Paragon Oil won the U.S. government contract as the only oil company to supply Europe with fuel oil during the post-war reconstruction. Later, during the early days of the Cold War, Paragon supplied the U.S. government with oil for their submarines. The company was sold to Texaco in the late 1950s.
When built in the 1920s, this handsome building served as Queens’ Borough Hall (since moved to a blander edifice on Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens). How long before the forces of gentrification come knocking and turn it into luxury condos, or like the Neptune Meter Building (5 Pointz) rip it down for a skyscraper?