Louis Allmendinger, architect, designed and developed housing in 1908 and 1911, setting the standard for future tenement construction. The homes are characterized by three-story tenement buildings featuring yellow and orange Kreischer-brick facades, stone details, pressed-metal cornices, and ironwork at the stoops and area-ways. They are prevalent in Long Island City, Ridgewood and Woodside Queens. The buildings, known as “Mathews Model Flats,” (built by Gustave X. Matthews) at a cost of $8000 each. They constituted better-quality housing than previous tenement models, providing larger rooms and private bathrooms.
The tenements attracted working-class German immigrants from nearby Bushwick, Williamsburg, and the Lower East Side. Tenements/Flats had been known for their poor living conditions. Allmendinger, working with Matthews, changed the face of lower income housing in the outer boroughs of NYC.