LOUIS ARMSTRONG HOUSE IN CORONA TO OPEN FOR PUBLIC TOURS BEGINNING OCTOBER 16, 2003
--A First-Time Chance to “Visit with Louis and Lucille”
in Their Landmarked Home –
NEW YORK, September 26, 2003. The Louis Armstrong House, the long-time home of the internationally acclaimed jazz musician Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (1901-1971), will be open for historic house tours beginning Thursday, October 16, 2003. The house, a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark, has just undergone a $1.6 million restoration and renovation.
Louis and his wife Lucille purchased the modest home, located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens, 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 (DCA) and arranged for Queens College to administer the house under a long-term license agreement.
Visitors on the 40-minute tour of the Louis Armstrong House will have the experience of “visiting Louis and Lucille.” Because no one has lived in the house since the Armstrongs, all of the furnishings are authentic. Highlights of the tour include a custom-made turquoise kitchen from the 1960s, original oil paintings by Tony Bennett, LeRoy Neiman, and Calvin Bailey, a spectacular bathroom with gold fixtures and mirror-covered walls, and Louis’s den, where he wrote letters to his fans and visited with friends and neighbors. In three rooms, a hidden audio system plays excerpts from Louis’s many home-recorded tapes—visitors will hear Louis telling jokes and band stories, Louis and Lucille eating dinner, and Louis playing with General, the family dog.
An exhibit area in the basement displays Louis’s gold-plated trumpets, scrapbooks, photographs, and other memorabilia. A gift shop sells postcards, t-shirts, books, CDs, red beans and rice, and other Armstrong-related items. These include the just-published The Offstage Story of Satchmo by Michael Cogswell, the photo-filled, official guide to the immense collections in the Louis Armstrong House and Archives at Queens College that Cogswell directs.
The Armstrong House is open from 10-5, Tuesday-Friday, and 12-5, Saturday and Sunday. General admission is $8.00; students and seniors, $4.00; free for members of the Louis Armstrong Museum.
For more information and travel instructions, visit the Web site for the Louis Armstrong House & Archives, www.satchmo.net. Also visit the Queens College Web site at www.qc.cuny.edu.