I HAVE OFTEN WALKED
by Ron Marzlock, Chronicle Contributor
The first luxury highrise apartment buildings in Rego Park were not built by Sam Lefrak. Cord Meyer or Fred Trump but by Alfred Kaskel. In 1952 he abandoned the common six-story design that had been in vogue. boldly building three 12-story structures set against the majestic Manhattan skyline.
The complex was bounded by Queens Boulevard, 102nd Street, 66th Road and 67th Avenue. Architect Philip Birnhaum designed simplex and duplex apartments ranging from two to five and a half rooms. To draw prospective tenants from Brooklyn and the Bronx out to Queens, Kaskel offered free gas, free electricity and a free master TV electronic antenna system. Use of the on-premises garage was available for a monthly fee.
Seventy percent of the site was covered by lovely lawns, gardens and two private playgrounds. The buildings have gone coop and are still very desirable.
A loving family man. Kaskel named the complex after his son, Howard. Before 1952 came to an end he built a similar project comprising three buildings in Rego Park at 63rd Road with an additional story. Those he named The Anita apartments, in honor of his daughter.