Tag Archives: Crystal Windows & Door Systems

Crystal Windows celebrating 25 years in Queens


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The ’90s was an interesting time. The era is known for a variety of weird and colorful inventions, such as slap bracelets and light-up shoes, and famous figures from basketball legend Michael Jordan to Pokemon’s Pikachu.

It was also during that time a Taiwanese immigrant named Thomas Chen decided to stop working in construction and start his own window manufacturing company in Queens.

“I always wanted to do something in manufacturing,” Chen said. “And when I came to New York City I saw a lot of windows, so I felt that I have to do windows.”

Although back then using his College Point home garage and his teenage son as his only employee was hardly enough to be called a company, Chen’s business has grown to become the largest window manufacturer in the city and among the top 40 in the country since its inception in 1990.

Crystal Windows & Door Systems, now headquartered in a sprawling 215,000-square-foot Flushing facility not far from their old garage, produces more than 400,000 windows a year, serving numerous customers around the country and in some parts of the world, such as the Caribbean and Asia.

The company is celebrating its quarter-century birthday this year and to pay homage to the era in which the company was founded, Crystal held a ’90s-themed customer appreciation party Wednesday at Terrace on the Park. The event featured vintage video games, including Street Fighter for Super Nintendo, a performance from a Madonna impersonator and free neon-colored slap bracelets. It was their way of saying thanks to the consumers who made the rags to riches story a reality, but also to remember a time when it was all but a dream in a garage.

“When the company first started we never thought it would get up to this size. We thought we would still remain in our garage and just make enough to survive,” said Steve Chen, son of Thomas and the chief operating officer. “And then over time companies found out about us and we just kept growing and growing.”


Steve said one of the reasons why they have become such a big company from humble beginnings is because of their focus on quality.

The company offers over 56 different styles of windows that feature green designs and are energy efficient, and they are always looking to improve their products. They’ve even added a 3-D printer in the facility so engineers can be more creative with designs.

Crystal employs about 500 people around the country, and that number could balloon to 600 during the window industry’s seasonal summer months.

They have four facilities around the country in Chicago, St. Louis and Riverside, California, and provide custom windows for new developments and renovations, for both commercial and residential buildings.

Crystal’s windows are even featured on A&E’s TV show “Flipping Boston,” and recently they made products for a new dormitory at Texas A&M University.

But despite the growth and the work around the country, Crystal has never forgotten where it all started.

Steve said they have no intentions of ever leaving Queens and that Crystal supports numerous arts and business organizations in the borough.

“The company prides itself as being New York City-based, Queens-based, because that’s where we started,” Chen said. “New York City, especially Queens has helped us grow the way we are and we always believe in giving back to the community. ”

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Business is the backbone in north Queens


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

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BY SWEETINA KAKAR AND MELISSA MOTT

Papa Realty

1261 150th Street, Whitestone

718-767-3148

Papa Realty has been a part of the real estate world for more than 25 years. Their office is located in Whitestone as they serve the boroughs of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk County. Their real estate professionals provide exceptional service, whether it be selling or buying a home. They also live in the areas to know the best answers to all questions regarding schools, shopping, transportation and surrounding neighborhoods.

Harpell Chemists

12-65 150th Street, Whitestone

718-767-7868

The Harpell brothers, who loved visiting their local pharmacy, own this corner pharmacy located in Whitestone. They want to provide the help and feeling they used to get as children, as their mother shopped for medical supplies and they ran to the toy aisle. They supply a full pharmacy and medical equipment and also provide the entire local pharmacy feel with a printing, greeting cards and toy section. They try to make going to the pharmacy as easy and fun as possible, helping their clients get the best possible price on prescription drugs.

Trattoria Neo

1501 149th Street, Whitestone

718-767-1110

This two-year-old restaurant and wine bar in the Whitestone neighborhood offers fine Italian dinning in a casual setting. This restaurant offers lunch, dinner and Sunday brunches and also accommodates large private parties. Their elongated bar and numerous tables make enough room for spacious dining and caters well for their themed parties open to the public.

Villaggio

150-07 14th Road, Whitestone

718-747-1111

This brick oven pizza and pasta café has an elegant yet casual restaurant feel with their warm colors, classy lighting and painted mural walls. They serve traditional Italian dishes along with Mediterranean, seafood and café snacks with an Italian flare. Their two European chefs serve small intimate dinners to large private parties and even to take out or delivery.

Durante Bros Construction Corp.

31-40 123rd Street, Flushing

718-762-2500

The Durante Bros Construction Corp. has been part of Queens and the rest of the New York City community for 50 years. The family owned business has served their debris and recycling services since 1980. They pick up concrete, dirt, rock and brick and mixed excavation debris. Durante Bros have their general roots in contracting but also offer recycled base blend, clean dirt backfill, select structural fill, drainage stone, pipe bending sand and topsoil. They are centrally located to all five boroughs, also allowing for pick-ups and deliveries.

Queens Garden Nursery

154-10A Cross Island Parkway, Whitestone

718-640-9100

The Whitestone based garden nursery’s slogan is “we grow everything.” They provide, care and sell all kinds of plants, shrubs and flowers. Their landscaping services help provide expert advice and ideas for all types of gardens including designs and materials for ponds and fountains. This Queens garden has everything needed to make a personal garden from the tools to the expert advice.

Flushing Town Hall

137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing

718-463-7700

Flushing Town Hall is a multi-arts center, located in a historic 150-year-old building on Northern Boulevard. It hosts multiple galleries on its first floor and has a gorgeous theatre for performers on the second floor. Art exhibitions are continuously flowing through the walls of this town hall. You can see a huge array of local international work by musicians, dancers and theatrical groups. The town hall also houses an education program that works with artists, schools and the general public. Flushing Town Hall is a Smithsonian affiliate as well as a member of New York City 33 Cultural Institutions Group.

F & T Group

136-20 38th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing

718-713-0253

The F&T Group’s motto, “Global Vision for Local Development,” says it all. This business, which works with markets in both North America and Asia, looks to encourage economic development. The bread and butter of F&T Group is real estate development. Located at Queens Crossing, this umbrella company encompasses a number of businesses at every level including acquisition, development and operation companies.

Crystal Windows & Door Systems, Ltd. Headquarters

31-10 Whitestone Expressway, Flushing

718-961-7300

Based in Flushing, Crystal Window & Door Systems is a local business which has grown over the past few years. The company is known for their originality in design and manufacturing and has grown to include a vast collection of products, which are energy efficient as well as eye pleasing. Now the company has offices in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania to name a few, with branches in other states as well. Crystal Window & Door Systems looks to gain customer satisfaction through “consultative marketing.”

Precious Moments Nursery

1102 Clintonville Street, Flushing

718-767-6655

Precious Moments is a nursery school and day care. The school accepts children anywhere from ages 2 months to 5 years. Precious Moments is a private school which offers free full day Universal Pre-k. As a community based organization, Precious Moments is a licensed school run by the Department of Education. The school is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.