From the moment Louis Armstrong also know as Satchmo started playing the trumpet professionally when he was just 19 years old in 1920s, he never had a place that he could call his own. However, that changed in 1943 when his wife Lucille purchase a two store house located at 34-56 107th Street in North Corona, Queens.
Louis Armstrong lived in this house for almost 30 years. With his passing in July of 1971, his wife decided to give to the city of New York the ownership of the house so the city could transform this lovely place into a museum to focus into his extraordinary career and achievements.
In 1976 the house was designated a National Landmark and in 1988 it was designated a New York City Landmark.
The first thing visitors will see when arriving at the museum is his former garage. This area was transformed into the Welcoming Center. Before taking the tour visitors can see an incredible collection of memorabilia. First his gold plated trumpet that was personally given to him by King George V from England. Another important item is his gold record that he got for the music ” Hello Dolly” in 1964. That song knocked off the Beatles from their first place chart in the Billboard.
Stepping into the house the visitor feels like stepping inside a well oiled time machine. First we stepped inside his living room. We can feel the coziness. It is almost as if one is visiting one’s grandparents. The white sofa and the thrown pillows on top looks almost brand new. We have to hold hard the urge not to just jump into the sofa and call out grandma in the kitchen to bring some corn cake and some cold tea.
Another important part in the house is the kitchen. the fixture in it is kept the same way that the Armstrongs like it. Very neat and very organized. There is a microwave seated net at corner of the counter by the window.
Only when stepping into the jazzman den we can begin to feel his greatness and his genius. Louis Armstrong spent a lot of time in his private office when he was not on the road. It was there that he wrote part of his second autobiography.
Louis Armstrong was what we could call an archivist. He recorded more than 600 weel to wheel tapes while in the house. He also kept a hand written index book with all the music. The index book and his glasses are kept on top of his desk. While visiting the second floor visitors can listen to his voice.
Beside this beautiful house visitors also can visit Louis Armstrong’s japanese-inspired garden.