This giant duck-shaped poultry store was built in 1931 as a ploy by an enterprising farmer, Martin Maurer, to sell more ducks and duck eggs. Not only did it succeed in selling more waterfowl, but it has become one of Long Island’s leading landmarks. The duck is now located in a park and has a gift shop inside.
There are several interesting elements in the duck’s history. The duck’s eyes give away its age and are in fact headlights of a Model T Ford. The structure was also featured in an Atlas Cement catalog although the majority of the duck was built with a different type of cement. The duck has been moved several times, first to be nearer to the owner’s duck farm and again by Suffolk County, before finally returning to Flanders.
The duck is also responsible for an interesting bit of architectural lingo: Robert Venturi coined the term “duck” to describe a building that conforms to its purpose, in deference to the Big Duck. It was named one of the “Seven Wonders of Long Island” by a local radio station.
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Only in Queens: Tasting Our Way Through New York’s Most Diverse Borough
Manhattan may have name-brand recognition and Brooklyn a certain cache, but Queens is the city’s largest and most diverse borough. Join us, October 4-7, to dig into Queens’ rich neighborhood life.