July 19, By Jason Cohen
Elected officials broke ground on the new 14,000-square-foot $23 million Louis Armstrong Education Center in Corona on Monday.
The new center is going up across the street from the Louis Armstrong House Museum—the legendary jazz great’s nationally landmarked Queens home, located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona.
The new facility will provide the museum with the ability to offer expanded programming, including concerts, lectures, exhibitions, and community events. The center will come with a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery, a 68-seat jazz club and a gift shop. It will also house the materials in the Louis Armstrong Archives—currently kept at Queens College.
“We are thrilled to reach this important milepost,” said Louis Armstrong House Museum Executive Director Michael Cogswell. “When completed, we can offer a broad array of public programs to preserve and promote Louis’ remarkable legacy. There is nothing else like it in the jazz world.”
The center is a major component of the Louis Armstrong campus that’s being planned.
The campus will also include the home of the late Selma Heraldo, a close friend of Armstrong’s, who lived next door until she passed away at 87 in 2011. She gave her house to the museum and her property will be renovated for offices, meetings and storage, using a $1.027 million grant from the City. The space will be named and always be called “Selma’s House” in her memory.
The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The educational center is expected to be completed in 2019.