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Corona is a highly dense neighborhood in the former Township of Newtown in the New York City, New York, U.S. borough of Queens. It is surrounded by Flushing to the east, Jackson Heights to the west, Forest Hills and Rego Park to the south and Elmhurst to the southwest. Corona's main thoroughfares include Corona Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, Northern Boulevard, Junction Boulevard, and 108th Street. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 4, while the northern most part is included in Community Board 3. Corona's zip code is 11368.
Corona was a late 19th century development in the old Town of Newtown. The name allegedly derives from the crown used as an emblem by the Crown Building Company, which developed the area; the Italian immigrants who moved into the new housing stock referred to the neighborhood by the Italian or Spanish word for "crown" (which is "corona").
Over the last 50 years Corona has seen dramatic ethnic demographic turnovers. In the 1950s what was predominately an Italian American and African American neighborhood began to give way to a very large influx of Dominicans, though a part of Corona near "Spaghetti Park", where older men play bocce, still has an Italian-American community. In the late 1990s, Corona saw a new wave of immigrants from Latin America. Subsequent to increasing crime, congestion and quality of life issues many remaining Italians in Corona followed the white flight trend and moved east to more suburban areas like Little Neck, Bayside and Long Island. The residents of the Dorie Miller Coops and Meadow Manor Apartments remain predominately African American. There is also a predominately African American and African immigrant community in The LeFrak City housing development located within the southwest ending boundaries of Corona.
The majority Hispanic community consists of Dominicans, Mexicans,Colombians, Ecuadorians,Guatemalans, Bolivians,Peruvians, and Chileans. There are also Asian Americans (Koreans, Filipinos, Chinese and Pakistanis) as well as Italian Americans and African Americans. There are currently Dominican Americans representing Corona in both the New York City Council, Julissa Ferreras, and in the New York State Senate, Jose Peralta.
Corona is bordered on the east by Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, one of the largest parks in New York City and the site of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs. Located within the park are Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and the USTA National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open in tennis is held annually.
Dorie Miller Residential Cooperative, built in 1952, comprises six buildings, containing 300 apartments, with 1,300 rooms in total. The cooperative is named after Doris "Dorie" Miller, a U.S. Naval hero at Pearl Harbor and the first African American recipient of the Navy Cross.Among its original residents were jazz greats Nat Adderley & Jimmy Heath; Kenneth and Corien Drew, publishers of Queens' first African-American newspaper, The Corona East Elmhurst News, Thelma E. Harris founder of Aburi Press and prominent Queens attorney Henry Slaughter to name a few.
During the 1950s and '60s Corona and its neighbor, East Elmhurst, was home to legendary African American musicians, civil rights leaders and athletes including Dr. Ophelia Devore, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Shavers, Ella Fitzgerald, Norman Mapp, Nat Adderley, Frankie Lymon, Willie Mayes], George Williams former Harlem Night Club Dancer turned restaurateur who owned the renown BBQ George’s Supper Club frequented by the Black elite of Queens and New York politicos including civil rights activist Judge William “Bill” Booth, Publisher and NYC Commissioner Ken Drew, New York City's Mayor John Lindsay and New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller.
The two communities were often referred to as one “Corona/East Elmhurst” and is the childhood home of the first African American US Attorney General, Eric Holder, to rap (Hip Hop) artists Kidd & Play, Kwamé, Salt-n-Pepa and Kool G Rap, and is home to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and her husband Donald.
Corona/East Elmhurst also houses one of the most extensive collections of African American art and literature in the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, which serves Queens County with reference and circulating collections, totaling approximately 30,000 volumes of materials written about or relating to black culture. The Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County includes books, periodicals, theses and dissertations, VHS videos, cassettes and CDs, photographs, posters, prints, paintings, and sculpture. Cultural arts programs are scheduled through the Center. Meeting space is available to community organizations by application. Special features of the Center include:
- The Schomburg Clippings File, an extensive microfiche collection of periodicals, magazine clippings, typescripts, broadsides, pamphlets, programs, book reviews, menus and ephemera of all kinds.
- The UMI Thesis and Dissertation Collection--consists of more than 1,000 volumes of doctoral and master dissertations concerning the African and African-American diasporas.
- The Adele Cohen Music Collection contains most of America's foremost black publications on microfilm. The papers cover 15 states beginning in 1893, and are updated each year with current issues.
- The Black Heritage Video Collection documents the history and culture of Africans and African-Americans on tape, and in all subject areas including literature, biography, social science, fine arts.
Through the Black Heritage Reference Center literature readings, workshops and lectures are scheduled, as well as cultural arts programming in fine art exhibitions, film festivals, dance, musical, and dramatic presentations/performances.
- Lemon Ice King of Corona is located on the intersection of 108th Street and Corona Avenue. It appears in the opening credits of the TV show King of Queens.
- Books about Corona's history and present include Roger Sanjek's The Future of Us All and Steven Gregory's
Black Corona. Chapter 6 of Andrew Morton's Madonna describes Madonna's brief stint as a Corona resident in the late 1970s/early 80s.
The IRT Flushing Line (7 <7>) train runs through the neighborhood with stops at 111th Street, 103rd Street-Corona Plaza and Junction Boulevard.
Notable current and former residents of Corona include:
- Cannonball Adderley (1928–1975), jazz alto saxophonist.
- Nat Adderley (1931–2000), jazz cornet and trumpet player.
- Louis Armstrong (1901–1971), jazz trumpeter, whose house is now a museum.
- Maurice E. Connolly (1881–1935), Queens Borough President from 1911 to 1928.
- Marie Maynard Daly (1921–2003), first African American woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry.
- Peter T. Farrell (c. 1901–1992), judge who presided over the trial of bank robber Willie Sutton.
- Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996), jazz vocalist.
- Dizzy Gillespie (1917–1993), jazz trumpeter.
- Jimmy Heath (born 1926), jazz saxophonist.
- Lena Horne (born 1917), singer and actress.
- Kool G Rap (born 1968), rapper.
- Estée Lauder (1906–2004), founder of the cosmetics company that bears her name.
- Johnny LoBianco (1915–2001), boxing referee.
- Madonna (born 1958), singer lived here from 1979–1980 as a member of the band Breakfast Club.
- Frankie Manning (1914–2009), popularized the Lindy Hop.
- Omar Minaya (born 1958), General Manger of the New York Mets.
- Robert Parris Moses, a legendary figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and later founder of the Algebra Project, lived at 108-63 Ditmars Boulevard in Corona.
- Carlos D. Ramirez (1946–1999), publisher of El Diario La Prensa.
- Clark Terry (born 1920), Swing trumpeter.
- Norman Mapp (1928–1988) Jazz Vocalist and Composer
- Jim Valvano (1946–1993), basketball coach.
- Hip-hop musicians Kidd & Play, Kwamé, BB and Salt-n-Pepa, came from Corona/East Elmhurst.Darryl "God" Whiting,DJ Polo, Styles P, Noreaga, Big Mato, Nu-Era, The Beatnuts, Disco Twins, Nu Sounds, King Charles, T Rapper D Disco Knights & V.I.C. came from Corona.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III]], Pastor of the nationally-renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church, Jazz Greats and performers , Charlie Shavers, Irving Barnes and Frankie Lymon made Corona their home.
Paul Simon -singer, songwriter of Simon and Garfunkel and solo artist, was also born in Corona.
- ^ Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
- ^ 11368 Zip Code Detailed Profile, City-Data.com. Accessed April 18, 2008.
- ^ Doris "Dorie" Miller bio
- ^ a b c d e Berman, Eleanor. "The jazz of Queens encompasses music royalty", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 1, 2006. Accessed October 1, 2009. "Mr. Knight shows the brick building that was the studio of Dizzie Gillespie, where other Corona residents like Cannonball Adderley used to come and jam....When the trolley tour proceeds, Mr. Knight points out the nearby Dorie Miller Houses, a co-op apartment complex in Corona where Clark Terry and Cannonball and Nat Adderley lived and where saxophonist Jimmy Heath still resides."
- ^ the Louis Armstrong House & Archives Museum. Accessed September 17, 2007.
- ^ Krebs, Albin. "Louis Armstrong, Jazz Trumpeter and Singer, Dies", The New York Times, July 7, 1971. Accessed October 1, 2009. "Louis Armstrong, the celebrated jazz trumpeter and singer, died in his sleep yesterday morning at his home in the Corona section of Queens."
- ^ Staff. "MAURICE CONNOLLY OF QUEENS IS DEAD; Former Borough President, 54, Ill Since Serving Year in Jail for Sewer Frauds. WAS AN ATTORNEY AT 21 Resigned Under Fire in 1928 After Having Been Political Ruler for 17 Years.", The New York Times, November 25, 1935. Accessed October 1, 2009.
- ^ Staff. Marie Maynard Daly, Journal of Chemical Education. Accessed October 1, 2009. "One of three children, Marie Daly was born on April 16, 1921 in Corona, Queens, New York."
- ^ Pace, Eric. "Peter T. Farrell, 91; Judge Who Presided At the Sutton Trial", The New York Times, November 10, 1992. Accessed October 11, 2009.
- ^ a b c Holloway, Lynette. "House of Satch Gets New Gig", The New York Times, February 10, 1996. Accessed October 1, 2009. "The Armstrongs embraced Corona, selected partly because of its proximity to other jazz musicians who lived nearby, including Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald, said Phoebe Jacobs, executive vice president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation."
- ^ Kool G Rap, Will C., 2008, Road to the Riches Remaster Liner Notes, p. 4.
- ^ Severo, Richard. "Estée Lauder, Pursuer of Beauty And Cosmetics Titan, Dies at 97", The New York Times, April 26, 2004. Accessed October 1, 2009. "Josephine Esther Mentzer was born at home in Corona, Queens, on July 1, 1908, according to several biographies, although her family believes it may have been two years earlier."
- ^ Goldstein, Richard. "Johnny LoBianco, 85, Referee In Controversial Duran Bout", The New York Times, July 21, 2001. Accessed October 1, 2009.
- ^ Ciccone, Christopher; and Leigh, Wendy. "Life with My Sister Madonna", p. 56. Simon & Schuster, 2008. ISBN 1416587624. Accessed October 1, 2009. "By the time we get to town, en route to Connecticut, Madonna is living in Corona, Queens, in a synagogue that has been converted into a studio, and playing drums in her boyfriend Dan Gilroy's band, the Breakfast Club."
- ^ Monaghan, Terry. "Frankie Manning, the Ambassador and Master of Lindy Hop, Dies at 94", The New York Times, April 28, 2009. Accessed October 1, 2009. "He was 94 and lived in Corona, Queens."
- ^ O' Keeffe, Michael. "METS' MINAYA A GROUND-BREAKER", Daily News (New York), May 27, 1999. Accessed October 11, 2009. "Minaya was born in the Dominican Republic, raised in Corona, Queens, by parents who spoke only Spanish."
- ^ Ravo, Nick. "Carlos D. Ramirez, 52, Publisher of El Diario", The New York Times, July 13, 1999. Accessed October 9, 2009.
- ^ Thomas, Robert McG., Jr. "Jim Valvano, Colorful College Basketball Coach, Is Dead at 47", The New York Times, April 29, 1993. Accessed October 11, 2009.
Coordinates: 40°44′06″N 73°51′54″W / 40.73497°N 73.86497°W