The building on the west side of Parsons Boulevard at 89th Avenue has a complicated history. It opened in 1930 as the Central Library Building of Queens Public Library (the current building is on Merrick Boulevard between 89th and 90th Avenues, a few blocks east). In 1970, it was adapted as Queens County Family Court, and the inscription placed there that year on the pediment still remains. The Family Court moved to a new building on Jamaica Avenue across from Rufus King Park (see below) in 2002, and the old Family Court was converted to luxury and “affordable” housing, with a new building constructed behind the old facade.
Clues to the original use of the building can be found on the massive, copper-coated lamps that are still in use next to the entrance staircase….
…because those elaborate bronze lamps on the front staircase, as well as escutcheons on the facade, hark back to the building’s days as a library, with symbols of learning: an owl, an open book, a classic lantern. Animal heads adorn the lamps’ bases.