The Louis Armstrong Home Museum in Queens, NY, is one of the hidden gems that a lot of people don’t know about. It has been kept just like when he lived there and the treasures found there are invaluable.
If there was any one great thing Louis Armstrong taught us throughout his life, it’s that life can be wonderful. In fact, it is that very song that has become more or less a hymn for me. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with the lyrics and their origin shown on the video at the start of the article, you will see why. Since I have always been a fan of the song and I was living in Queens, a mere 30 streets away from where he spent the best years of his life up until his death, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Corona and of course, Louis Armstrong’s house, which is now a museum in New York.
The neighborhood of Corona in Queens, just beyond Jackson Heights, is predominantly Latino today (like almost all of the area), but it hasn’t always been like that. Between the forties and the sixties, it had a considerable African American population, with major musicians, artists and athletes hailing from the area. Among them, Louis Armstrong stood out. He moved to the neighbourhood with his wife Lucille in 1943, giving their love to the neighborhood to the point of being treated like one of the locals and helping the community in every possible way. He saw his children grow up in the neighborhood, teaching them how to play trumpet. His wife attended the neighborhood church and church members or their friends would come to play the Armstrong’s household piano.
Visiting his house has been a magnificent experience, as much from a historical and artistic point of view, as well as getting to know the personal side of Armstrong, who you almost expect to still be sitting in his house. The visit begins with a video of one of his concerts and details his life from childhood, explaining the poverty and racial marginalization he had to overcome. From a young age, he had already experienced great success, thanks to his talent. In the same room as the video showing, you can also see one of his original trumpets.
The visit comes with a guide at your side at every moment, with the house being pretty much how it was when he lived there with his wife and everything you can see is original (it’s invaluable). The house, in its own right, is an authentic gem, when you take into account the decoration and the fact that it’s so modest; even more so when you think about how he could have lived more luxuriously with the fortune he had accumulated. This reminded me of visiting my grandparents. You really feel like he’s still living there and at any moment, he will come out with his wife or leave his bedroom.
It seems like there was no bigger fan of Louis Armstrong than himself, so much so you can find speakers all around the house. He recorded every moment to have it documented. During the visit, you will be able to listen to real conversations of daily moments, like for example a dinner or a chat with a friend. The fact that you go through every moment with a guide is great, making it easier to go back in time, linking what you have seen with real stories. In his recording studio, there are some original documents of his own lyrics. It’s like you’re going through some of his songs with him!
The visit takes 40 minutes including the video and then you can see the gardens, which are behind the house and porch. During the summer, there’s also concerts, commemorating the parties, which Louis himself held at the house. When he was younger he thought he was born July 4th not August 4th, as it finally turned out, but he decided to celebrate both dates – what a guy! We ruskomend a visit to the Louis Armstrong museum with 4 boquerones, 5 boquerones if like me, you’re a fan of one of the greatest musicians in history.
Information about The Louis Armstrong Home Museum
Ruskommendation for The Louis Armstrong Home Museum: 5 boquerones
- Address: 34-56 107th St, Queens, NY 11368, United States
- Telephone: +1 718-478-8274
- Price: $10; Seniors (65 and older), students, y children: $7
- Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday – Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm; Closed on all Mondays and the following Holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Always open on the 4th of July, in honor of Louis’s traditional birthday.
- Official website of The Louis Armstrong Home Museum