North Shore Towers celebrates 40th anniversary

File photo / Gallery photos by Julie Weissman and Stephen Vrattos

North Shore Towers, the best-selling building in 2014 (according to PropertyShark.com), celebrated its 40th anniversary this past weekend.

Originally constructed as rental apartments, the building of the three towers that make up the complex began in 1971 on the highest point of land in Queens, a hill located 258 feet above sea level and part of the terminal moraine (maximum advance) of the last glacial period. The land was the site of the former golf course of the Glen Oaks Golf Club, which was built in 1923 on 167 acres purchased from William K. Vanderbilt II’s country estate. Tower #1 was completed in 1973; Tower #2 in 1974; and Tower #3 in 1975, when the residential complex opened.
North Shore Towers’ conversion from rental apartments to co-ops in 1985 was touted as the most expensive conversion in New York City’s history at the time. The coop is the only gated residential community in New York with its own ZIP code: 11005.

Festivities for the 40th anniversary celebration began on June 12 with the world premiere of a documentary commissioned exclusively for the auspicious occasion, produced by resident Morty Schwartz, whose multi-award–winning career spans documentaries, film and commercials on both the big and small screens and includes the original pilot to “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the popular “Charlie” perfume ads of the ’70’s, which star “Charlie’s Angels” actress Shelley Hack and New York’s own Bobby Short singing the signature theme.

An extravagant dinner show was the highlight of June 13. Nearly 400 residents and friends packed Towers on the Green, the co-op’s catering facility. The menu included a choice of filet mignon or baked salmon and a top-shelf bar. Comedian Susie Essman, best known for her portrayal of the profanity-laced character Susie Green, which she played for eight seasons on Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO, performed at the gala.

The weekend culminated in a street fair, which encompassed the entire lower-level arcade, running underneath and connecting all three buildings. Several lounges were “transformed” into casinos, in which residents played for prizes with custom-designed money; vendors participated with carnival games and giveaways outside their stores or offices; jugglers and stilt walkers roamed the halls and courtyard; free cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream and other confections were handed out; and there was even a dunking booth.

As dusk settled and the street fair winded down, the five-piece band Stages, performed in the courtyard, where residents boogied the night away.