Community of Corona
The area was originally known as West Flushing, but real estate developer Thomas Waite Howard, who became the first postmaster in 1872, petitioned to have the post office name changed to Corona in 1870, suggesting that it was the “crown of Queens County.” Another theory is that the name Corona derives from the crown used as an emblem by the Crown Building Company, which is alleged to have 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”, or “corona”. Either way, the name is a foreign translation of the word “crown.”
Corona was a late 19th-century residential development in the northeastern corner of the old Town of Newtown. Real estate speculators from New York started the community in 1854, the same year that the New York and Flushing Railroad began service to the area largely to serve a newly opened race course. It was at the Fashion Race Course in 1858 that the first games of baseball to charge admission took place. The games, which took place between the All Stars of Brooklyn and the All Stars of New York, are commonly believed to be the first all star baseball games and in essence the birthplace of professional baseball. A trophy baseball from this tournament recently sold for nearly half a million US dollars.
During the second half of the 1940s through the 1960s, many legendary African American musicians, civil rights leaders and athletes moved to the neighborhood. In the last half of the 20th century, Corona saw dramatic ethnic successions. In the 1950s, what was predominantly an Italian American and African American neighborhood began to give way to an influx of Dominicans. In the late 1990s, Corona saw a new wave of immigrants from Latin America. The area north of Roosevelt Avenue contained the heart of the historic African American community. The intersection of 108th Street and Corona Avenue is the historic center of the Italian American community, sometimes referred to as Corona Heights. The majority Hispanic community now consists of Dominicans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Bolivians, Peruvians, Mexicans, Venezuelans, and Chileans. There are also Asian Americans (Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Japanese) as well as Italian Americans and African Americans.
Corona is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City. It is bordered by Flushing to the east, Jackson Heights to the west, Forest Hills and Rego Park to the south, Elmhurst to the southwest, and East Elmhurst to the north. Corona has a multicultural population with a Latino majority, and is the site of historic African American and Italian American communities. After World War II, the majority of the neighborhood’s residents were mostly Italian, German, Irish and of other European ancestries. Corona also has a significant Chinese population.
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, which replaced Shea Stadium as home of the New York Mets baseball team in 2009, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the US Open in tennis is held annually.
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