LOUIS ARMSTRONG HOUSE MUSEUM TO INTRODUCE ARCHITECTS
SELECTED FOR VISITORS CENTER
-- Additional $5 Million Recently Received from NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs --
CORONA, NY, October 25, 2007 – Elected and college officials will gather at the Louis Armstrong House Museum on Wed., October 31 at 1:30 pm to introduce the award-winning architects selected to design the museum’s Visitors Center. The House Museum is located at 34-56 107 Street in Corona, Queens.
The Visitors Center, expected to open in three years, will allow the Louis Armstrong House Museum to offer an expanded schedule of concerts, lectures, exhibitions, community events, and other services and programs. In 2006, the State of New York awarded Queens College and the City University of New York (CUNY) $5 million to begin design and construction of the Visitors Center, and this July, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs awarded an additional $5 million to the project.
CUNY selected Caples Jefferson Architects to design the Visitors Center after a competitive national search. Founded in 1987, Caples Jefferson emphasizes community projects and has designed visitor centers for Historic Weeksville, a prominent African-American heritage site in Brooklyn, and Queens Theatre in the Park. Sara Caples and her husband, Everardo Jefferson, the firm’s principals, received the American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for Architecture (2003) and many awards from the National Organization of Minority Architects.
The site for the Visitors Center, an empty lot across the street from the museum, was donated to Queens College in 1986 by the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, which also awards an annual grant that is the cornerstone of the Louis Armstrong House Museum’s operating budget.
Besides the architects, those scheduled to attend this event include Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, NYS Assemblyman Jose Peralta, NYS Senator John Sabini, and Queens College President James Muyskens.
The internationally acclaimed jazz musician Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (1901-1971) and his wife, Lucille, purchased the modest home in Corona in 1943 and stayed 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 and senior citizen groups, professional musicians, and tourists from nations all over the world, including Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Russia.