Louis Armstrong House
34-56 107th Street
Corona, Queens, New York City, New York
Louis Armstrong's wife, Lucille, purchased this modest house for Louis while he was away on tour in 1943. Louis, who had a difficult childhood, was delighted with the home and continued to live here (even when he could afford a more elegant abode) until he passed away in his sleep in their upstairs bedroom on July 6, 1971. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and Lucille Armstrong continued to live in the house until her passing in 1983, when it was left in her will to the City for a museum. The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs assumed ownership of the House and provided for Queens College to administer it. The house finally opened to the public as a museum on October 15, 2003.
The house has been left with the early 1970s interior decoration, with Louis' personal library as it was when he passed.
When I visited in 2006, the surrounding neighborhood was slowly being gentrified, with modest row houses like Armstrong's being replaced with large yuppie dormatories.
Next: Louis Latimer House