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Concerns were raised about the condition and distance of the old courthouse, and several sites were in contention for the construction of a new one.

The borough has diverse housing, ranging from high-rise apartment buildings in the urban areas of western and central Queens, such as Jackson Heights, Flushing, Astoria, and Long Island City, to suburban neighborhoods in the eastern part of the borough such as Little Neck, Douglaston, and Bayside.

Other early settlements included Newtown (now Elmhurst) and Jamaica.

It is presumably named for the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705), Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

It became a borough of New York City in 1898, and from 1683 until 1899, the County of Queens included what is now Nassau County.

The county was founded alongside Kings County (Brooklyn, which was named after her husband, King Charles II), and Richmond County (Staten Island, named after his illegitimate son, the 1st Duke of Richmond).

Queens played a minor role in the American Revolution, as compared to Brooklyn, where the Battle of Long Island was largely fought.

On April 6, 1784, a sixth town, the Town of North Hempstead, was formed through secession by the northern portions of the Town of Hempstead.

After the war, various buildings in Jamaica temporarily served as courthouse and jail until a new building was erected about 1787 (and later completed) in an area near Mineola (now in Nassau County) known then as Clowesville.

In 1870, Long Island City split from the Town of Newtown, incorporating itself as a city, consisting of what had been the Village of Astoria and some unincorporated areas within the Town of Newtown.

Around 1874, the seat of county government was moved to Long Island City from Mineola.

Queens is the easternmost and largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City.