After closing for nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the home of acclaimed jazz musician Louis Armstrong has reopened with a fresh new outlook to give visitors a peek into the life of the famed trumpeter.

Born in New Orleans’ red light district in 1901, by the 1920s trumpeter Louis Armstrong rose to become a legend. Known for his extraordinary horn playing and distinctive gravelly voice, he had nineteen “Top Ten” records during his career, as well as three Grammy award nominations and one win for Best Vocal Performance in 1965.

 In 1943, during the height of his career, Armstrong moved to an unassuming house in the suburb of Corona in Queens, New York. This home, where he remained until the day he died, was converted into a museum honoring his life and legacy in 2003.   

Armstrong’s beloved home has been preserved just as it was when he lived here and is now the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Visitors to the museum can view the home’s original furnishings, as well as browse a variety of artifacts relating to the musician’s work and life that are placed throughout the home. There are also audio recordings throughout the home that allow guests to hear stories in Armstrong’s own words. 

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Acclaimed jazz musician Louis Armstrong'
Louis Armstrong's study, with its painting of him by singer Tony Bennett, is one of the items you'll see when visiting the Louis Armstrong House © STAN HONDA / Getty Images

Recent renovations and reopening

Because of the intimate space inside the home and out of deference for the community that Armstrong so loved, the museum closed during most of 2020 and into 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the unexpected shut down did have a silver lining as it allowed for important renovations to take place. Absent visitors, the museum  installed a new HVAC system and completed much needed conservation efforts such as wall reconstruction and re-upholstery of some furnishings. 

Another major museum project that advanced during the last year was the creation of the Armstrong Center. Set to open this summer in a brand new space across the street from the historic home, the 14,000 sq. foot state of the art building will feature a 75 seat venue for performing arts and lectures, a new home for the museum’s extensive archive of photos, music, writings and other memorabilia, as well as a new permanent exhibition curated by renowned jazz pianist and multimedia artist Jason Moran.

In addition to the home, the museum offers online programming, which was greatly expanded in the last year or so due to COVID-19. 

Rendering of the new Louis Armstrong Center, which is being built across the street from the home
The new Louis Armstrong Center, which is being built across the street from the home will house new state of the art exhibitions. © Louis Armstrong House Museum

How to Visit

Guided tours of the museum are available Thursday through Saturday, every hour on the hour from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. 

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $12 – $15 for adults and $8 - 12 for seniors (65 and older), visitors with disabilities (caregivers free of charge), active duty military, students, and children over 5. Children under the age of 5 are free.

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