Ida knocks down the New Orleans jazz monument where Armstrong worked
A New Orleans jazz site where a young Louis Armstrong once worked tipped over when Ida swept through Louisiana as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States
The Karnofsky Tailor Shop, where a Jewish family employed Armstrong, collapsed during the storm on Sunday. Armstrong would play a small pewter horn while working on the coal and junk cars, according to the National Park Service.
The company opened downtown in 1913 and had a residence above where the late jazz legend often dined. The family, who provided Armstrong with a “second home,” loaned him money to buy his first cone.
“Louis said it was the Karnofskys who instilled the love of singing in his heart,” retired jazz historian and photojournalist John McCusker said, according to WWL-TV.
Morris Karnofsky, Armstrong’s family son and childhood friend, opened the city’s first jazz record store on that same street, according to the park service. Armstrong would visit Morris Music on his return to New Orleans after moving.
A cluster of other sites integral to the city’s early jazz history were also located on South Rampart Street.
In 2019, a real estate company specializing in historic preservation was under contract to restore part of the block that included the Karnofsky boutique, The Times Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported. The CEO of the company launched the idea of transforming the building into a nightclub or jazz lounge.
But when daylight arrived on Monday morning, all that was left was a pile of bricks and other remains of the historic site.