This triangle is named in honor of Sergeant Charles J. Johnson (1894-1918), the only New York City fireman to be killed during World War I. Sergeant Johnson worked on Engine 58, serving West 115th Street, until September 23, 1917, when he enlisted in the 306th Infantry of the 77th Division. On October 14, 1918 at the Battle of Argonne Forest in France, he was killed in action at the age of 24, four weeks before the Allies and the Germans signed an Armistice ending the hostilities.
This land was acquired by condemnation on December 27, 1909. The City paid the then very substantial sum of $167,062.83 to acquire the property. A fence was erected around the triangle, and paths were laid out in a formal crossing pattern. In 1928, the City erected a large, neo-colonial comfort station, complete with a bronze plaque in the waiting room that commemorated the year the building was erected and the names of contemporary public officials. The City assigned the triangle to Parks in 1938. I