Louis Armstrong Park
Looking for some lush greenery just steps from the French Quarter? Nestled across N Rampart St, Louis Armstrong Park is greenspace rich in local history and natural charm, perfect for an outdoor outing while visiting New Orleans’ most famous neighborhood.
Located in the Tremé neighborhood, the birthplace of many of New Orleans’ most renowned jazz musicians, the park is aptly named for one of New Orleans’ best-known musicians, jazz trumpeter, Louis Armstrong. But long before Louis Armstrong was born, the site of Louis Armstrong Park was once known as Beauregard Square.
Arguably the park’s most notable landmark, Congo Square, previously known as Place de Negres, still stands as a vibrant remembrance of local African-American history. In Congo Square, slaves would come together on Sundays, their day off, to socialize and celebrate in this open field with music, drumming, singing, dancing, and the sale of homemade goods. Locals and visitors also came to Congo Square to listen to the music and dance, including dancing the Bamboula and the Flat-footed Shuffle.
Congo Square is still honored today as the birthplace of the African contributions to modern music, particularly jazz, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Louis Armstrong Park was built both to preserve the site of Congo Square and honor Louis Armstrong.
Louis Armstrong Park also hosted the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, commonly known as Jazz Fest, in 1970.
In addition to Congo Square and plenty of picturesque greenspace, including the National Park Service Area, Louis Armstrong Park is home to other local landmarks, including the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, and part of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
The park also features the French Opera House, Sculpture Promenade, Louis Armstrong Sculpture Garden, Jazz Compound, Rose Garden, and a lagoon in the center of the park.
Some of the park’s ornamental features include monuments to famous jazz musicians, including a statue of Armstrong, a bust of saxophonist Sidney Bechet, and another statue of trumpeter Buddy Bolden.
Louis Armstrong Park hosts many events throughout the year, including Martin Luther King Day celebrations, Red Dress Run, festivals, such as the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, concerts, such as the Jazz in the Park weekly concert series, weddings, filming, and more.
When you’re enjoying your day in the French Quarter, consider taking a stroll through Louis Armstrong Park and soaking up the history of the park and Congo Square as well.