Settled in 1652, Forest Hills was originally called Whitepot. The name, Whitepot, may have originated from a story that the area was purchased from Native Americans for the price of three white clay pots. Whitepot may have also stemmed from “put”, a Dutch word meaning pit or hollow, inspired by the presence of a dried up stream bed in Forest Hill’s landscape. The area evolved from six farms purchased by the Cord Meyer Development Company in 1906. A model residential community initially aimed at lower income residents, Forest Hills Gardens was created by the Russell Sage Foundation in 1909 and is integral to the Forest Hills area. The famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, designed the development, and the suburban project changed into an exclusive community for the wealthy partly due to the success of the design. Forest Hills, the current name of the area, is derived from its close proximity to Forest Park and the hilly topography. Today, Forest Hills is a busy area bustling with up-scale shops, businesses, and residential neighborhoods.
On April 16, 1912, a traveling station library serving the area opened in a community drugstore. After the library's location was changed a few times, it was moved to a rented location on Austin Street. In 1942, the station became a branch library of the Queens Library system. The current Forest Hills building with 15,900 square feet of space, was opened on September 29, 1958, thanks to the efforts of the Library Committee of Forest Hills. This group was created in 1946 with the aim of securing a permanent library site. In 1967, the building underwent extensive expansion and rehabilitation and was re-opened in 1970. The branch building was again updated in 2001, improving access to the building for those with disabilities. The branch currently serves its diverse community through a number of entertainment and educational programs, classes, and print and media collections focusing on the customers’ diverse interests and needs.
Some metered parking is provided near the library on 71st Avenue and Queens Boulevard. Parking is also available through Central Parking System at 10740 Queens Boulevard (718) 793-6813 and 7031 108th Street (718) 793-6795.