Friday, September 26, 2008



According to's historic building information, the Queens County Supreme Court Courthouse was built in 1935 (the one in Jamaica, there is also a smaller courthouse in Long Island City).  The entrance is neoclassical, with a limestone facade and Corinthian columns. 

The sculpture below was added in 1998. The outside ring contains a quote from Benjamin Cardozo: "Danger invites rescue. The cry of distress is the summons to relief.  The quote is from Wagner v. International Railway, 232 N.Y. 176 (1921). In Wagner, a man was injured helping someone who fell from a train.  Apparently, the artist could not find a good enough quote from Palsgraf v. Long Island R. Co., 248 N.Y. 339 (1928), also a famous Benjamin Cardozo decision, but where the accident occurred in Queens.

Surrounding the doors to the entrance are sculptures of Hamurrabi, Meno, Confusius, and Mohammed.

The inside of the courthouse is impressive. When you enter the main lobby, you immediately see the marble walls and "Grand Staircase," reminiscent of the stairs in the Titanic.  On the far wall are two murals, which were added in 1942, a few years after the courthouse opened. The one on the left depicts Moses with the Ten Commandments; the one on the right depicts the Constitutional Convention.  The walls are marble, and the elevator doors appear to be aged copper.

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