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42 Stunning Vintage Photos of Corona, Queens from the 1960s

In the 1960s the streets of Corona, Queens buzzed with life. Kids played stickball, their laughter echoing between rows of brick houses adorned with fire escapes. Mothers chatted in Spanish while hanging laundry on clotheslines strung across backyards.

Corona wasn’t just a residential haven; it was a self-sufficient community. Mom-and-pop shops lined the avenues, their windows displaying everything from fresh bread and pastries to colorful fabrics and religious figurines. Local butchers knew their customers by name, and the corner fruit vendor’s cart was always piled high with seasonal produce.

One of the neighborhood’s main arteries, 108th Street, was affectionately known as “La Ruta de la Moda” (the Fashion Route).  Bustling with activity, it boasted a string of clothing stores showcasing the latest styles, often imported directly from Puerto Rico. Women dressed to the nines, sporting vibrant dresses and perfectly coiffed hair, strolled down the street, transforming it into a runway of sorts.

Food was, and still is, a cornerstone of Corona’s identity. Italian restaurants like Park Side and Leo’s were neighborhood institutions, serving up classic dishes like spaghetti and meatballs and thin-crust pizza. As the Hispanic population grew, so did the culinary landscape. Bodegas offered traditional Puerto Rican fare –  mofongo, pernil, and arroz con gandules –  while Cuban restaurants like Rincon Criollo tantalized taste buds with ropa vieja and savory pastelitos.

Weekends in Corona were a time for family and community. Fathers took their sons to Shea Stadium to cheer on the Mets, while mothers and daughters enjoyed picnics in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the site of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The park was a source of immense pride for the community, a sprawling green space with iconic structures like the Unisphere and the New York State Pavilion serving as constant reminders of the world-class event that had put Corona on the map.

Evenings often found families gathered around their television sets, watching popular shows like “I Love Lucy” and “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Music filled the airwaves, with the sounds of Motown, doo-wop, and Latin rhythms spilling out of open windows and car radios.

Life in Corona wasn’t without its challenges. The neighborhood, like many others in New York City, grappled with issues like poverty and crime. Yet, the strong sense of community and the unwavering spirit of its residents always shone through. Neighbors looked out for one another, sharing resources, and lending a helping hand whenever needed.

#2 Residential and commercial buildings at the intersection of 108th Street and 37th Avenue, Corona, 1960.

#3 Ongoing construction of new exit and entrance ramps for Municipal Stadium on the Grand Central Parkway, Queens, 1960s.

#4 The junkyard on Willet’s Point Boulevard in Corona, 1960s.

#5 Motorists drive northbound along Junction Boulevard near 57th Avenue, Corona, 1960.

#6 Intersection of 37th Avenue and 112th Street, Corona, 1960.

#7 Elevated view looking south along Junction Boulevard towards Queens Boulevard in Corona, 1960s.

#9 Sign for the rental office for LeFrak City under construction in Corona, 1960s.

#10 Construction of twenty, 16-story residential apartment buildings known as LeFrak City begins in Corona, 1960s.

#11 Construction of two of the twenty, 16-story buildings in the residential apartment complex known as LeFrak City in Corona, 1960s.

#12 Construction ongoing next to the fire station at the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and 108th Street in Corona, 1960s.

#13 Construction begins on the Municipal Stadium at Flushing Meadows, later named Shea Stadium, in Corona, 1960s.

#14 View of the LeFrak City construction site in Corona, 1960s.

#15 Construction of the LeFrak City apartment complex on the border of the Elmhurst-Corona neighborhood, Queens, 1960s.

#16 A patron stands outside the Mets Lounge on 114th Street in Corona, 1960s.

#17 Construction underway on the Municipal Stadium at Flushing Meadows, later named Shea Stadium, in Corona, 1960s.

#18 Construction of the LeFrak City apartment complex, as seen from the intersection of Junction Boulevard and the Horace Harding Expressway, Queens, 1960s.

#19 A car accident on Junction Boulevard near the Horace Harding Expressway in Corona, 1960s.

#20 Unidentified men talk, leaning against a chain-link fence in the PS 143 (later named PS 143 Louis Armstrong) yard in Corona, 1960s.

#21 Muddy construction site for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair in Corona, 1960s.

#22 A man is at bat during a softball game in the PS 143 (later named PS 143 Louis Armstrong) school yard in Corona, 1960s.

#23 Residential and commercial buildings along 112th Street at Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, 1960s.

#24 The tennis courts at Flushing Meadows Park in Corona, 1960s.

#25 Construction site for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair in Corona, 1960s.

#26 Construction site for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, 1960s.

#27 Construction site for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair in Corona, 1960s.

#28 Muddy construction site for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair in Corona, 1960s.

#29 Residential and commercial buildings along 108th Street in Corona, 1960s.

#30 Visitors riding in a Greyhound World’s Fair Escorter at the New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, 1960s.

#31 Scoreboard on opening day at Shea Stadium in Corona, 1964.

#32 Queens Restaurant, featuring ‘International Foods’, at 39-06 104th Street at 39th Avenue in Corona, 1966.

#33 Beatles fans exit the 7 Train Subway stop in Corona, on their way to see The Beatles at Shea Stadium, 1966.

#34 Traffic on the Horace Harding Expressway at Junction Blvd in Corona, 1967.

#35 The intersection of National Street and Roosevelt Avenue under the elevated train in Corona, 1967.

#36 Vehicles double parked in front of John Malossi Bar & Grill at 111-12 37th Avenue in Corona, 1967.

#37 People on a lawn next to the World’s Fair pavilion and observation towers, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 1967.

#38 Exterior view of the New York Hall of Science Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 1967.

#39 A woman stands with three children at a crosswalk in Corona, 1967.

#40 Players from a Boys Club of Corona little league baseball team with their coach in the dugout, Flushing Meadows Park, 1968.

#41 A sign advertises the ‘Monster Community Bazaar’ in Veteran’s Square park at the intersection of 102nd and National streets, Corona, 1968.

#42 Fans enter Shea Stadium for a New York Mets baseball game in Corona, 1969.

Written by Makayla White

An amateur content creator and dreamer. I Run, Cycle, Swim, Dance and drink a lot of Coffee.

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