Now home to the Prop N Spoon Company, which provides props for retail shows and conventions, and the City View Racquet Club, this building which fills an entire block and contains over a thousand windows is the former home of Swingline Staples, founded by Jack Linsky in 1925 as the Parrot Speed Fastener Company, changing the name to Speed Products in 1939 and then Swingline in 1956. The company moved to this new headquarters on Skillman Avenue in 1950. In 1998 Swingline eliminated its Queens factory, moving it to Nogales, Mexico.
In 2002 the Museum of Modern Art was renovating its East 53rd street building and moved for a year into another Swingline building on 33rd Street north of Queens Boulevard. In a way, that was fitting because Jack Linsky and his wife Belle were collectors of fine art, including works by including paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Gerard David, and François Boucher. The works were donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and can be found there in the Belle Linsky Galleries. The Linskys were also famed philanthropists, donating millions to charity. But the Swingline jobs have disappeared from the USA.
33-02 Skillman Avenue is home to three large studios for dance and theater artists and a rehearsal studio for musicians.
Swingline was famed for its giant neon Swingline staples sign on the roof, featuring a working stapler. In 1998, when Swingline decamped to Mexico (and from thence to China later), the neon lettering was removed. The 60 by 50-foot sign’s lettering required six men working three ten hour days to pull down.
Above we see additional signage on the Queens Boulevard entrance of the building and, while that signage was also removed, it left a ghost in its place, the only remnant of Swingline remaining in Queens.