Queensview History

Gerard Swope & Louis Pink, Queensview Founders

Queensview, Inc. has a rich history as a cooperative community in New York City.

In 1942, the Redevelopment Companies Law passed, and it encouraged private capital investment for the rebuilding of urban areas. Queensview, Inc. was built under this law and was then known as Joint Queensview Housing Enterprises, Inc. We opened our doors as middle–income cooperative housing development on November 14, 1950.

NY Times article photo of “The Queensview” on Opening Day
NY Times article photo of “The Queensview” on Opening Day

As a redevelopment company, we were granted a 25–year tax abatement on the increase in the assessed value of our land as it was improved by redevelopment. In 1975, the tax abatement expired, and from that point on we have paid full taxes on the land and buildings.

In 1989, we reconstituted and converted from being a redevelopment company to a private cooperative. At that same time, our name was changed to Queensview, Inc.

In 2019, we collectively decided to transition from a limited equity sales model to a market rate sales model.


Queensview, pre-construction, 1949.
Photograph courtesy of Eric Schwarz

Joint Queensview Housing Enterprises Inc. opened its doors as a pioneering middle-income cooperative housing development on 14 November 1950. The co-op’s founders were a group of public-spirited New Yorkers, including Louis H. Pink, who was then president of the New York State Housing Board and State Superintendent of Insurance. He was joined by Gerard Swope, former president of General Electric and former chairman of the New York City Housing Authority. (As a mark of gratitude to these two men, whose inspiration made QV possible, the cooperators subsequently dedicated the community rooms in buildings 7 and 14 to them).

Our First Board

The first Board of Directors consisted of Mr. Pink, president of QV; Mr. Swope, chairman of the board, and such prominent citizens as Henry Morgenthau, Jr., former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; David Sarnoff, chairman of the board of RCA; Mary K. Simkhovitch, director emeritus of Greenwich House; Thomas J. Watson, vice-president of IBM; Howard S. Cullman, chairman of the New York Port Authority; Bernard Gimble, president of Gimble Brothers; Howard C. Shepard (QV’s first treasurer), president of National City Bank (now Citibank); the Very Reverend E. Roberts Moore, formerly of the New York City Housing Authority; Mrs. Yorke Allen of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council; Albert Lasker of the Lasker Foundation; Beardsley Ruml, chairman of the Board of Macy’s; and G. Howland Shaw, president of the Welfare Council of New York.

Queensview, 1957.
Photograph courtesy of Eric Schwarz

The Board retained Maxwell Tretter as counsel (who served in this capacity for many years); George Brown and Bernard Guenther, architects; Alfred Rheinstein (former chairman of the New York City Housing Authority and a leader in the cooperative housing movement), builder; James Felt, consultant for management and tenant selection; and Abraham Kazan, consultant for cooperative practice.

The prospective cooperators were actively involved in the planning of QV even before construction began and made many significant contributions to the design of the buildings and grounds and the layout in the apartments. Resident cooperators were later added to the Board and eventually replaced the “public” members. Now all QV Board members are shareholders and residents.

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