The ‘Victory House’ of Old Forest Hills
by Michael Perlman
Jul 29, 2020 | 907 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Many homes have a story, if only walls could talk.

While much attention is paid to the history of Forest Hills Gardens, the Cord Meyer section of the neighborhood, which runs north of Queens Boulevard and developed beginning in 1906 retains a large collection of historic homes despite the increase of new development over the past 20 years.

One of those homes is at 108-05 68th Road. It was nicknamed the “Victory House” as it played a significant role in the local war effort during Word War II. It was once home to the Chabad of Forest Hills North, and today is All My Children Daycare & Nursery School.

It was built as an eight-room private home by Cord Meyer Development Company around 1925, and was gifted by the firm to the Forest Hills air raid wardens during WWII. The headquarters would operate throughout the day and night in two-hour shifts by wardens, which included Frank Bellucci, J. Eugene Thompson, Herman Blumenfeld, Mark Rose and Leon Kleinbart.

The dedication ceremony featured Captain Louis Goldberg of the Elmhurst Police Precinct and Forest Hills resident William Raisch, who served as the borough engineer who oversaw disaster preparedness.

After George C. Meyer of Cord Meyer Development Company made the Victory House’s transfer official, J. Eugene Thompson delivered a speech.

“Victory should be our only thought in this war, and Victory House shall be our only name for this building,” read an account of his remarks at the ceremony in the Long Island-Star Journal. “We all here and now rededicate ourselves to the supreme task of victory.”

The panel of guest speakers also included Margaret Reydell and John V.L. Hogan of the Community Defense Committee, Mrs. H.M. Vermilye, Mrs. William Selden and Mrs. Arthur Merry of the Red Cross.

On June 10 of the same year, a noteworthy achievement was a 30-hour course for the first Girl Scout Troop to be trained in home nursing under the direction of Eugene Lockey. An enthusiastic goal was established to have 6,000 women trained to become home nurses by the end of the year through the Queens Central Chapter of the Red Cross, which already worked with 2,800 women.

In August 1943, the Forest Hills Red Cross Auxiliary production unit operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and the surgical dressings unit was operational on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Victory House. The latter services were also offered at the Midway Theatre daily.

In addition, four nursing courses were offered throughout Queens, including sessions at the Victory House.

“With bandage quotas being increased regularly at all Red Cross Chapter and Auxiliary Headquarters, North Queens women are rushing to fill the demand for surgical dressings by working today at Red Cross volunteer centers in North Queens,” a local ad read.
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