Louis Armstrong House

New York, United States

The Louis Armstrong House, formally known as 34-56 107th Street, is a historic house museum in Corona, Queens. It was the home of Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille Wilson from 1943 until his death in 1971. Lucille gave ownership of it to the city of New York in order to create a museum focused on her husband.

The house was designated a New York City Landmark in 1988 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. It now serves as a museum that presents concerts and educational programs, and makes materials in its archives of writings, books, recordings and memorabilia available to the public for research.

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation gave the house to the Department of Culture Affairs after Lucille Armstrong died in 1983. This brick house was designed by architect Robert W. Johnson and built by Thomas Daly in 1910. Some changes were made to the exterior and interior of the house when the Armstrongs moved in. The porch that was once in the front of the house was taken down and the space was added to the living room. For the exterior of the house the garden was assembled and the garage was constructed by the Armstrongs.

In addition the interior of the house was renovated to their taste. Ornate bathrooms, and the kitchen was not originally part of the house. Paintings and souvenirs were given to Louis Armstrong on tour from Asia, Europe to Africa. These gifts have found a home of their own on dressers, night stands, shelves and walls.

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Details

Founded: 1910
Category: Museums in United States

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

K T (8 months ago)
Outstanding opportunity to tour in a small group and see where Louis Armstrong and his last wife, Lucille, lived until they passed. Great tour guide knowledgeable about the collection and Louis and Lucille's biographies; the chance to listen to tapes of Louis talking that he made at home on his reel-to-reel. And now across the street, a newly opened (two months ago, as of September 2023) museum with artifacts and digitized archives that contribute so much to the experience. I'll be returning there for sure, and it seems as though they are continuing to renovate the house (basement now) and add to what's viewable from the archives. An American treausre.
Alexandre DeSoleil (8 months ago)
It is the tour of the house by a knowledgeable and passionate guide that made today’s visit truly unforgettable! Loved the guide’s vision and narration, sort of a look at the artist from a more intimate, personal stand, and especially enjoyed her acknowledgement of Lucille’s role in the story. I could really feel the guide’s deep care for the place. As a plus - an interesting neighbourhood to wander around after the visit.
Mark Krug (9 months ago)
Great place to visit and a wonderful tribute to this amazing man, and his wife.
Laura Ginsburg (9 months ago)
What a gem. A must see museum. The house is preserved as it was when Louis and Lucille we're alive. The Museum is really well curated. You can hear all his recordings plus there is a lot of film footage. Only thing would be good if the guides were African American and knew something about Louis Armstrong rather than reading their notes. We took the subway from Manhattan.
Patricia Patrick (2 years ago)
We visited this black centric establishment on Friday, August 12, 2022. I purchased tickets online in advance prior to. This business is located in the Queens borough of New York. There was a life-size standing figure of Louis Armstrong right outside of the museum. Upon early arrival, we checked in and verified a reservation with the staff. We had to show our proof of vaccination, which was sufficient. In the front, they do have a gift shop area where they sell various items pertaining to Louis Armstrong. It was a bit early when we arrived, so we were allowed to view the exhibit in the back room. The exhibit featured photos of Louis Armstrong with his wife and other celebrities. Also there was actual clothing of Louis Armstrong including his famous bathrobe. Also they had his actual trumpet that he played on display. Outside of the museum, there’s a beautiful sprawling garden which is full of greenery and flowers. There is also a small fountain with a patio area. We learned the garden is now utilized for musical and community events. All of the staff was nice, professional, and welcoming. Once the tour began, we entered Louis Armstrong‘s house which has a really nice brick stoop. We were not allowed to take photographs inside of the home. Therefore, I don’t have any photos to post of the interior out of respect for the museum and Louis Armstrong. All of the furnishings in the home were simply beautiful. There were many priceless Louis Armstrong artifacts in the home he collected and was bestowed. Some of the pieces were even timeless and would be relevant to this day. The house was not very big, but it did have a lot of treasures. The bottom floor had a sprawling den with beautiful beige and neutral furnishings. It included hints of glam with opulent chandeliers. The bathroom downstairs was fully mirrored and had touches of gold. There’s also a picture of Louis Armstrong in his famous bathrobe in this bathroom. The tour guide stated that he could see his smile from everywhere in the room. The tour guide was very professional and knowledgeable. She provided us fun facts on Louis Armstrong. In several of the rooms we were able to hear recordings of Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille. They stayed together until his death in the 1970s. The kitchen was also very beautiful! It had blue laminate wood cabinets, a 6 burner gas stove, and mini special touches. Also they had wonderful unique custom-made things. This included a custom-made stove and refrigerator. The dining room area had an Asian inspired theme. It also featured a lot of mirrored elements. It was well put together and maintained. The tour guide stated the Armstrongs loved to entertain and have people in their home. They also had a small breakfast nook on this floor. A lot of their rooms had matching elements and themes. The tour guide did show us the stair chair that Louis Armstrong used to get up and down the stairs. She stated this was due to him having had a pretty serious heart attack after several prior to. Once we entered upstairs, the master bedroom was very nice and featured a prayer area for Lucille. The restroom up here was also very sprawling and nice. It had touches of glamorous elements. This included nice chandeliers, nice wallpaper, and other elements. The best room in the house was definitely Luis‘s den. He did a lot of his recordings and organized archives of his music in here. We also heard recordings of Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet in his room and speaking about his catalog of archives. He stressed the importance of being open to embracing different types of music and people. The tour guide stated that Louis Armstrong fully embraced his community, the people, and the place that is Corona Queens. He was a man of his neighborhood and enjoyed touring the world and spreading his music. He seemed to always have a smile on his face with a joyous bright personality. I would recommend this museum to everyone in New York that would like to visit. The museum will be opening an education center across the street with a jazz venue in Fall 2022.
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