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New Orleans' historic Karnofsky Shop collapses during Hurricane Ida

The Karnofskys loaned a young Armstrong the money for his first cornet and later turned their tailor shop into New Orleans’ first jazz record store.

NEW ORLEANS — The former Karnofsky Shop is no more.

The historic New Orleans site, where a Jewish immigrant family employed Louis Armstrong and nurtured his love for music, collapsed when Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans.

"Louis said it was the Karnofskys that instilled the love of singing in his heart," John McCusker, a retired journalist and author who championed the push for the site to be preserved and restored, said. "The family would feed him and they would eat dinner together and they would sing to get the children to sleep."

The Karnofskys loaned a young Armstrong the money for his first cornet and later turned their tailor shop into New Orleans’ first jazz record store.

The historic building at 427 S. Rampart St. is now a pile of bricks after a category 4 storm hit the City.

According to our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, there have been several plans to restore the building that never got off the ground. The latest came in 2019, when the GBX group, a Cleveland-based real-estate firm, was under contract to restore the building, possibly as a night club.

    

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