“It’s gonna be a game changer,” Michael Cogswell, director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, said of a $17.5 million visitor’s center the museum is set to begin building this summer.
It took four years to raise the funds, Cogswell said. The money ultimately came from state, city and Queens coffers.
“Our elected officials clearly recognized cultural tourism is good for the economy,” Cogswell said.
The new two-story center will be located across the street from the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and will feature a state-of-the-art multimedia exhibit which will include a plethora of Armstrong objects now housed at Queens College.
The center will also feature an on-site jazz cafe which the museum will open as a rehearsal space for jazz musicians, in addition to using it for film screenings and other public events.
The public will be able to observe musicians as they practice, Cogswell said. The center is expected to be finished by 2014.