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Louis Armstrong House and Museum Prepares for Renovations

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It's a popular time to visit the Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Corona as jazz lovers from across the country and around the world make their musical pilgrimage to see "Pop's house," and there are even more plans in the works. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

The Louis Armstrong House and Museum looks, and sounds, very much like it did when the jazz great and his wife Lucille lived here.

"You can see that this is one of the most famous rooms in the house. We get guests from all over who come to see this kitchen. We can see some of the more opulent things in this house like the chandeliers. Louis made upwards of 750 private reels. We have some of Louis singing, some of him playing, him telling jokes. It's all on tape," says Programs Coordinator Ben Flood.

But big changes are coming.

"Later this year, we plan to break ground on our new education center across the street. It’s almost 15,000 square feet. It’s a fabulous project. It will allow us to bring in, expand our exhibit space, bring in more school children," says Jennifer Walden Weprin of the museum.

It will also include a new jazz club.

"And we can use that as rehearsal space for jazz musicians around New York City," says Walden Weprin.

It means the entire Louis Armstrong Archives will be moved here from Queens College.

While Armstrong was a superstar who chose a home over a mansion, he still understood the importance of his legacy.

"You could tell because he recorded himself speaking at home, talking to himself out loud. He recorded himself visiting with friends and band members right here in the house, and that we all have here as part of the tour. So really, he anticipated his importance in some way. I think he was a very humble man and he lived a very humble life, but he was a big person. He had a big heart, and he had a very large career," Walden Weprin says.

For music lovers, the highlight of the tour will definitely be here, in Louie’s den.

"Indeed, this is where Louis spent most of his time. He would practice his trumpet here, he would have friends over, and he would record them," says Ben Flood.

You can hear bits of all of it on your tour.

There is also a full schedule of summer concerts.

Hoping to make it even more wonderful, the educational center is expected to open in 2017.

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