The new $67.7 million Queens Civil Court on a site adjacent to the existing Queens Supreme Court in the Jamaica area of Queens. The "building provides a dignified and modern setting for a house of law but most importantly, the new courthouse is a place that is accessible and welcoming to the residents of Queens," Mayor Giuliani said. "The Queens Civil Court deals with matters that directly affect people's lives and for many people coming here it will be their first introduction to the legal system. And that is why it's so important that this courthouse provides people with the feeling that their court system is dignified and efficient.
"The spacious Queens Courthouse is a vast improvement from the cramped quarters of Borough Hall in Kew Gardens," Mayor Giuliani continued. "The Civil Courthouse is a perfect complement to the Supreme Court Building right across the street and brings us one step closer to completing our plan to revitalize the area of downtown Jamaica and make it a thriving center of government, business and culture. This is a great day for the people of Queens and I look forward to working together with you to continue to make Jamaica one of the City's most dynamic and vibrant communities."
Construction of the new, five-story, 319,000 square-foot facility began on June 30, 1994 and was completed in late 1997. This facility houses 14 Civil Court parts, a 150-spectator calendar/small claims part, a large 300-spectator landlord/tenant part, four Housing Court parts and support spaces. In addition to courtrooms, the building will impanel jurors for the Civil Court as well as for the existing Supreme Court, and contains the offices of the Clerk of the Court and the City's Corporation Counsel.
The building's design is consistent with the scale of the surrounding neighborhood and also complements the much taller Supreme Court building across the street. A 10,000 square-foot public plaza is located along Sutphin Boulevard and unifies the new building with the existing Supreme Court. Two underground garage levels provide 230 parking spaces.
"This building was a multi-year effort that wrote a new chapter in the history of the court system in Queens County," said Queens Borough President Shulman. "Its creation has resulted in an appropriate setting for the public and the judiciary to work together. It is also one more step in our continual and combined efforts to secure the future of downtown Jamaica by renewing its place as a center of government, business, and culture."