Tue-Fri, 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun, noon-5pm; Mon, closed
7 at 103rd St.-Corona Plaza
$8, $6 seniors, students and children 4-12, free for members and children under 4
Visitors might be disappointed not to find a traditional museum stuffed with mementos and biographical wall plaques. But the Louis Armstrong House offers something more compelling: an intimate glimpse into the place where an American icon simply lived as a man, and an eccentric one at that. The red-brick house where the New Orleans–born musician lived with his fourth wife, Lucille (a Queens native), for nearly three decades until his death in 1971, is located on an ordinary, tree-lined block in what was a mostly white, middle-class neighborhood when the Armstrongs moved there in 1943. The home has maintained its modest, lived-in charm, with worn furniture and sometimes-funky décor like silver-foil wallpaper. Tender homemade audio recordings of Louis breathe life into the rooms: In the dining room, he’s heard joking about Brussels sprouts; in the wood-paneled office, he’s singing “Blueberry Hill” over ambient household sounds. The bathrooms are among the glitziest spaces—appropriate for a man who was a lifelong devotee of laxatives: One is decked out in marble with 24-carat gold-plated fixtures, and mirrors lining the walls and ceiling; the other, in the bedroom, although less flashy, is wired with built-in speakers above the john. There’s also a state-of-the-art sixties kitchen, with curvy, turquoise-colored cabinets, and a custom-made stovetop and double-oven. A small street-level room features rotating exhibitions, as well as one of the five Armstrong trumpets found in the house. The garage serves as a gift shop selling, among other things, Louis’s laxative of choice (Swiss Kriss) and boxes of his favorite dish (red beans and rice).Tours
Guided tours given hourly, with the last one at 4 p.m.