Louis Armstrong House Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Louis Armstrong House Museum

Teet Ottin

20 Oct 2022
Image Credit: Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

About Louis Armstrong House Museum

Located in the former home of Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille Wilson, the museum dedicated to the Jazz legend houses a vast collection of his personal belongings, including recordings and instruments used by him.

History of the Louis Armstrong House Museum

Born 1901 in New Orleans, Louis Armstrong become one of the most influential and popular artists of the emerging Jazz scene in the early 20th century. His trumpet skills and distinctive voice gathered him fame and fans across the world.

Following his death in 1971, his wife Lucille continued to live in their New York home, working towards making it a historic landmark. She passed away in 1983, giving the premises to the city in her will. The brick house originates from the 1910s and was designed by Robert W. Johnson. It took decades to create the museum, with the City University of New York, Queens College spearheading the project. The Louis Armstrong House Museum was finally opened up to the public in 2003.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum today

The museum consists of items that belonged to Louis Armstrong and those given to the museum by his friends, family and fans. The collections (11 in total) include his records, letters, manuscripts, instruments, furniture, photographs and more. One of the most exceptional exhibit pieces is a 1934 Selmer trumpet and mouthpiece given to Louis by King George V of the United Kingdom. The museum also organises regular events ranging from special movie screenings to garden concerts.

For those unable to visit the premises in person, there are digital collections that can be accessed from the Louis Armstrong House Museum website. They include images of other significant figures in the history of Jazz (for example Billie Holiday and Mary Lou Williams).

Getting to the Louis Armstrong House Museum

The museum can be found at 34-56 107th Street in the Corona neighbourhood of Queens, New York City. The easiest way to get to the site is by taking line 7 on the Subway to the 103 St-Corona Plaza station. From there it is about a 10 minute walk to the museum premises.