Nov. 1, 2018 By Christian Murray
The city has allocated nearly $2 million toward the upgrade of a little white house located next door to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona.
The house, known as Selma’s House, was owned by Selma Heraldo, a long-time neighbor and close friend of Louis and Lucille Armstrong.
The original Louis Armstrong museum, located at 34-56 107th St., consisted of Armstrong’s private home and opened in 2003. Heraldo was often at the house museum to tell stories.
When Heraldo died in 2009, she bequeathed her home to the Queens College Special Projects Fund so it could be incorporated as part of Amstrong’s house museum. Heraldo’s home is now part of the expanding Louis Armstrong cultural center campus, officials say.
The renovation of Selma’s House will maintain the historic character of the property, officials say, while adding office and storage space to the campus, include a professional catering kitchen for events. It will also add space to the existing Louis Armstrong garden, a summer concert venue.
The city is currently building a $23 million Louis Armstrong House Education Center directly across the street from the house museum that is expected to be completed in 2019. That facility will be 14,000 square feet and include a 68-seat jazz room, and space for his 5,000 photos and 1,600 recordings. Many of Armstrong’s trumpets will also be on display.
“Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest artists in any medium of his era, and one of the greatest musicians of all time,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “With this funding for the renovation of ‘Selma’s House,’ the City is helping to build a new cultural campus in the heart of Queens.”