104-11 39th Avenue in Corona is one of a pair of Italianate-style houses just east of the Queens Library Corona branch building located on 39th Avenue a block north of the #7 train on Roosevelt Avenue. The house probably goes back over a century to when the Italianate style was popular, and its former details have long been stripped away in favor of aluminum siding.
One of its former residents quite likely has a few of the books he authored available in the library: children’s books author Crockett Johnson (1906-1975). He is best remembered for Harold and the Purple Crayon, in which a kid’s drawings become real. Born David Johnson Leisk, Johnson edited books at McGraw-Hill beginning in the 1930s and later joined the Communist Party, editing its journal New Masses. He later drew comic strips with a leftward editorial tilt in PM before turning to writing children’s books; Crayon kicked off a multi-book series in 1955. Johnson lived in this house as a teenager and young adult.
The Queens Library purchased the building in 2013 and rented apartments in the building since then, but now are moving to tear down the building to expand its relatively small footprint.