The internationally renowned Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, announced the official opening date of its new state-of-the-art building, preserving and expanding the legacy and ideals of America’s first Black popular music icon.

The Louis Armstrong Center will open on Thursday, July 6. Armstrong’s values of Artistic Excellence, Education and Community will be fostered in Here to Stay, the new Center’s exhibition, curated by award-winning pianist, composer and Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, Jason Moran. Grounded in the new building design by Caples Jefferson Architects, the new Center will be a permanent home for the 60,000-piece Louis Armstrong Archive (the world’s largest for a jazz musician) and a 75-seat venue offering performances, lectures, films, and educational experiences. 

The Louis Armstrong Center will become a new international destination celebrating Armstrong’s distinctive role in African-Diaspora history and vitality, offering year-round exhibitions, performances, readings, lectures, and screenings through an array of public programs for all ages. With longstanding partners Queens College and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, and with a growing list of members, supporters and programmatic collaborators, the museum and center will become a Queens-based hub for inspiration and learning, economic development and tourism – from New Yorkers to the world. 

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation donated the Armstrong archives in the 1980s and provided the funds to purchase the lot on which the new Center sits. CUNY and Queens College officials, working with state and city legislators and executive offices, led the advocacy for the funding of the $26 million building across the street from the original Armstrong home. Funds were awarded by the Office of the Governor, the New York State Senate, New York State Assembly, Office of the New York City Mayor, Office of the Queens Borough President,and the New York City Council. The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) led the construction project. The staff and board of the museum for the past 15 years, including former Director, Michael Cogswell, worked tirelessly to ensure the new building’s success. 

The opening of the Center has spurred the creation of new programming. The Museum is announcing the upcoming season of its groundbreaking Armstrong Now, which will feature the creation and debut of new works by Esperanza Spalding, Amyra León and Antonio Brown. Armstrong Now contextualizes Louis Armstrong’s immense contributions in a contemporary era and provides established and emerging artists with a platform to create new work inspired by Armstrong’s legacy, as well as the vast collection of artifacts and documents in the Armstrong archives. 

The Museum also recently launched an outreach program to local schools, providing trumpet lessons, made possible by a donation of musical instruments from Ken Karnofsky, a descendant of the same family who helped Armstrong buy his first instrument. 

Ticketing and information about all of the museum’s events and programs can be found at