To any music fan, Louis Armstrong is an iconic figure, from hits that echo through time like What A Wonderful World to the soothing sounds or buzzing lips to his trumpet, the singer became a legendary figure in music history.
Lesser known though, were Armstrong and his wife’s impeccable taste in interior design. Images from their home in Corona Park, Queens, where the couple lived for nearly 30 years from 1943-1971, is an immaculate retrospective into mid-century modern design at its peak.
The home is full of bright, eye opening colors with sleek metal frames and designs to match the aesthetic of the day. The home also has absolutely no paint in it, with the entire wall color scheme being rendered with wallpaper. Most of the home’s fixtures are still there from how the Armstrongs lived their day-to-day lives, with Lucille, his wife, still having a few of her dresses hanging in the closet, particularly an Emilio Pucci dress said to be a favorite of hers.
The kitchen, completed in 1970 has a contemporary vibe with glossy cerulean blue cabinets, a custom-made six range double oven Crown stove, sub-zero refrigerator, Nu Tone blender and a KitchenAid dishwasher with a strange setting that says only “Party”.
Like so many men today, Louis Armstrong had his own man-cave like den installed in the home, though unlike most men his features a large painting of himself hanging on the wall, painted by none other than Armstrong’s close friend Tony Bennett. In the backyard, Mrs. Armstrong had a Japanese inspired garden put into the home just before Louis’ passing, which still is kept remarkably well.
For all the history and character packed into this home, both covering the life of one of America’s most iconic musicians, and as a testament to Queens-styled homes in the Jazz Age, this mid-century modern masterpiece continues to offer tours throughout the week. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10-5, and Saturday and Sunday from 12-5. The tours run every hour, on the hour, and offer a rare glimpse into a bygone era of music and interior design alike.