Louis Armstrong Sites in New Orleans

MammaHomie is taking my nieces (ages 14, 11 & 7) to New Orleans the week after Christmas. To prepare them, she’s teaching them about Louis Armstrong (among other things, places, people & events associated with the city).

Are there any remnants of Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans years still extant? His boyhood home, for example, or the building that used to be the Jones Home for Colored Waifs?

If so, could I have some addresses, please?


I went to college in New Orleans (Tulane) and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World was My Wedding Song.” I also listen to his music on a daily basis. I don’t remember any particular landmark associated with him while I lived there or since I have been been.

However, New Orleans is absolutely unlike any other American city when it comes to tourism. You may have been 50 times yourself in which case I may be preaching to the choir but I will point it out for other people reading. You don’t need a tour bus or informational pamphlets like you would in other cities. It is all just there and you can see and hear Louis Armstrong’s influence just by wondering around the French Quarter for hours or days. Most Americans cannot grasp the idea until they do it because it so so foreign to American tourism mentality and what is the norm for other touristy cities is inappropriate for New Orleans. All people need to do is walk and listen and have a great time. You can’t cover any of it in a weekend or even 4 years like I tried to.

I know this didn’t answer your question directly because New Orleans is not like other American cities at all and should not be viewed as such so they should question all assumptions before they get to far.

The influences of Louis Armstrong will simply appear all over the French quarter just from people sitting on a step and blowing his music to anyone that cares to listen (and for a dollar or two if you care).

For kids, a lot of the French Quarter walking tours are great and made me happy even having lived there for a while. My wife and I loved the Haunted New Orleans Walking Tours and kids should love it as well. The other French Quarter walking tours should be great as well and there are a number of them including the very popular cemetery tours.

New Orleans has much more in common with Venice, Italy than other American cities. Americans tend to get confused that there is a foreign city within the U.S. when they inquire about it yet everyone figures it out instantly. It happens on this board every month or two. I would strongly recommend the walking tours for anyone with children although the route may take 2+ miles over 2 hours which is doable for a 5 year old but younger ones may require a stroller.

Trust me, Shagnasty, MammaHomie knows all of that stuff (and so do I). In fact, if she weren’t bringing the girls, she’d do it your way (as she’s done several times before).

The reason she’s focusing on Louis, I think, is that his music is something that the girls would find reasonably accessible. Particularly, the youngest will probably be learning about him soon in music class as school, if she hasn’t already.

Ok, I can understand that. That is why I don’t make assumptions about what people already know about New Orleans. Most people are clueless but everyone tends to figure it out fast as soon as they get there.

I would still recommend the walking tours for the kids. Even after living there for years, I always found them memorable and highly entertaining and something everyone would enjoy and remember. As to Louis Armstrong, I listened to an NPR program about him this weekend, and he left New Orleans for Chicago and then New York pretty early in life. I never saw anything associated with him and some of it might be private residences even if it was there.

However, the New Orleans airport is named the Louis Armstrong airport so maybe she could take them to Terminal B or something. :cool:

Yep. Read the Wikipedia listing for Louis. He only played there from about 1919 to 1922.

I was going to suggest Louis Armstrong Park, but it looks like it may not have reopened after Katrina. Hopefully the second link is out of date. I know that the link to Armstrong is tenuous, but there’s something about the walk through the arches, past Congo Square, and up to the statue. When I visited, I used to run through the quarter in the morning, and liked to loop through the park and around the lagoon.

A bizarre turn of events has led me to believe that I am giving tips to myself. My younger brother’s wedding is in Baton Rouge on November 3rd.

My wife pointed out that we would be better served just to fly into New Orleans which is a 90 minute drive away. I have a 1 year old who would be happy to eat pigeon droppings all day long but my five year old daughter is like the evil twin of Wednesday Adams. We have just planned to take her on a swamp your which isn’t actually in New Orleans but I even liked it growing up swimming with alligators (they love marshmallows fed to them),

A haunted New Orleans tour will be next. I think any child would like the French Market and perhaps the (free) ferry across the Mississippi and back after all that stuff. Possibilities beyond that are limitless. Serious music students might like Preservation hall and history buffs can have their pick of things to explore like the Cabildo. Food aficionados have their almost limitless pick as well but I don’t know if kids would appreciate any of those things.

I was going to suggest the jazz exhibit in the museum at the old U.S. Mint, but unfortunately it’s still closed due to damage from Katrina.

You should try to find a brass band parading on the street. Brass bands were a big part of New Orleans musical culture in Armstrong’s youth (he performed in the Eureka Brass Band, I think). The trick will be in figuring out where they’ll be playing. A brass band is often hired by a Social Aid and Pleasure Club (a kind of black civic organization that originated in the days of segregation). You might try to contact some Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs to see when there will be a public event like a parade. Alternatively, you could try contacting some of the brass bands to find out the same thing (a couple of the best are the Young Tuxedo Brass Band and the Treme (pronounced truh-MAY) Brass Band).

Have fun!

Not in New Orleans, but when you come to New York…
Louis Armstrong House

he neva went 2 tha moon neway! it waz all a hoax!!!111