Venue: Louis Armstrong House
Location: 34-56 107th Street, Corona NY 11368
World renowned Jazz artist Louis Armstrong, though a New Orleans native, lived with his wife Lucille in a mid-century brick house in Corona Queens, New York.
“We’re right out here with the rest of the colored folk and the Puerto Ricans and Italians and the Hebrew cats. We don’t need to move out in the suburbs to some big mansion with lots of servants and yardmen and things.” – Louis Armstrong, Ebony Magazine (1964)
Armstrong was charismatic, beloved by everyone, including the neighborhood children whom referred to him and Lucille as Uncle & Auntie. Their home, now a historical landmark, was gifted to the city by Mrs. Armstrong in order to preserve Louie’s legacy as a societal fixture and to celebrate his life and musical journey. The house is preserved in its original state, filled with portraits, keepsakes from his world travel, a gilded bathroom once featured in Time magazine and custom-made kitchen by Crown in hypnotic turquoise blue.
Our tour guide took us into Armstrong’s office, where he played homemade recordings from Louie himself, detailing insider information regarding music composition, an oil portrait of him painted by Tony Bennett, the origins to What A Wonderful World, spending time with the neighborhood kids and recollecting the holidays at the Armstrong home. The Armstrong’s loved their fans and would hand write every response letter.
The bedroom featured Lucille’s 3-piece vanity, her negligee still laying on the bed and her slippers tucked at the bedside. There was even a study space with religious relics. Their walk-in closet boasts a collection of designer pieces. Lucille was quite the fashionista, my personal favorite, a dress by Emilio Pucci, and Louie’s vintage Homme cologne.
Towards the side of the house is a beautiful garden with fresh water fish and classic Japanese motif. The Armstrong gift shop holds a collection of exclusive merchandise, including laminated postcards of the Armstrongs.
The Louis Armstrong Home is open to the public on guided tours. Become a member, donate, volunteer or visit the property on your next trip to Queens.
[FROM THE OUTSIDE]
[FROM THE LIVINGROOM]
[FROM THE BATHROOM]
[FROM THE KITCHEN]
[FROM THE BEDROOM]
[FROM THE GARDEN]
[FROM THE GIFT SHOP]
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