The streets of Long Island City, Ridgewood and to a lesser degree, Woodside, are lined with blond bricked Matthews Model Flats, each unit produced for $8000, beginning in 1915 by Gustave X. Mathews, who is virtually unknown today but responsible for much classic residential architecture in Queens. The distinctive yellow bricks were produced in the kilns of Balthazar Kreischer’s brick works in the far reaches of Staten Island. (The Kriescher and Long Island City stalwarts, the Steinways, were linked by marriage.) These were the final Mathews Flats built in NYC, executed by architect Louis Allmendinger, and reflect a streamlined Moderne design.
These handsome Mathews Model Flats, many with front gardens meticulously maintained by their owners, can be found in a triangle defined by Grand and Calamus Avenues and 79th Street, which include Ankener Avenue and Elks Road, named for the nearby Elks hall on Queens Boulevard. They opened in 1933 near the then-new Grand Avenue IND subway stop.