Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
QUEENS COLLEGE RECEIVES FUNDING FROM NEW YORK STATE
FOR LOUIS ARMSTRONG HOUSE MUSEUM VISITORS CENTER
FLUSHING, NY, August 28, 2006 -- The State of New York has awarded Queens College and the City University of New York $5 million to begin the design and construction of a Visitors Center for the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
Since its public opening in fall 2003, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens, has become one of New York City’s most notable historic house museums.
The proposed Visitors Center will allow the museum to offer a full schedule of concerts, lectures, exhibitions, community events, and other services and programs.
“We are deeply grateful to Senators John Sabini and Serf Maltese, Assemblyman José Peralta, Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, and all the other elected officials who worked so hard to acquire this essential funding,” said Michael Cogswell, Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. “The Visitors Center promises to provide substantial benefits not only to our visitors, but to our community.”
The site for the Visitors Center, an empty lot across the street from the museum, was donated to Queens College in 1998 by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. Lord Cultural Resources, one of the world’s top museum design firms, and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates have completed its master plan. The estimated total cost for design and construction is $9 million; Queens College must raise an additional $4 million for the Visitors Center, which is expected to be completed in 2009. The project will be administered by CUNY’s Department of Design, Construction, and Management.
The internationally acclaimed jazz musician Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (1901-1971) and his wife, Lucille, purchased the modest home in 1943 and lived there for the rest of their lives. In 1986, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation gave the house to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and arranged for Queens College to administer the house under a long-term license agreement. Today the Louis Armstrong House Museum is a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark visited by school groups, senior citizen centers, international tourists, professional musicians, and many others.