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Dizzy Gillespie's Corona Home Deserves to Be a Landmark, Historians Say

By Katie Honan | December 1, 2015 7:24am
 Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie spent a decade in Corona, living for a while at a corner brick home at 105-19 37th Ave. in Corona, the group said.
Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie spent a decade in Corona, living for a while at a corner brick home at 105-19 37th Ave. in Corona, the group said.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

CORONA — A local historical society hopes to landmark two neighborhood homes where legends in jazz and science once lived.

The Corona East Elmhurst Historical Preservation Society launched a petition last week to begin the process of landmarking the homes of jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie and science pioneer Marie Maynard Daly.

Daly grew up in the two-story brick home at 104-06 32nd Ave. in East Elmhurst before becoming the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. 

She later studied the causes of heart attacks, helping to discover the connection between high cholesterol and clogged arteries. 

Her work in nutrition and chemistry was groundbreaking — and her roots are in Queens, making her home worthy of landmark status, CEEHPS wrote on its petition.

Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie spent a decade in Corona, living for a while at a corner brick home at 105-19 37th Ave. in Corona, according to the group. 

He also lived around the corner from Louis Armstrong, on 106th Street, according to the Queens Jazz Trail. Armstrong's home is now a museum.

"Corona - East Elmhurst, with its rich history and significant traditions, is in jeopardy of becoming that negligible factor in the thought of the world," the group wrote on its petition, referencing a quote by Dr. Carter G. Woodson that talked about preserving a community's history.

They referenced the Landmarks Preservation Commission's lack of landmarks in Queens — an issue also noted by other historical societies in the borough. 

Last week the Newtown Civic Association accused the agency of ignoring Queens after the LPC denied a request to landmark a 1700s farmhouse in Elmhurst for a second time.

"They're fighting against the neighborhood. We're trying to do good and make things better," said Marialena Giampino, of Newtown Civic. "They don't look at the whole picture."

The Corona-East Elmhurst group said they've tried to get support from local elected officials, but are now striking out on their own, according to the petition.

They wrote that they'd like the city to know their neighborhoods have "a long, diverse and rich history."

Click here to see the petition.