#Newsflash | One Legendary Singer Offers Lecture on Another Legendary Singer on Feb. 18
BY QEDC It's In Queens
It’s a marriage between the borough’s biggest music icon and the biggest industrialist.
The Poppenhusen Institute hosts A Queens Icon: Louis Armstrong, The Man and His Music in celebration of Black History Month on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 3 pm.
Jimmy Owens, a trumpeter and flugelhornist who has shared the stage with Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, and other Jazz legends over a five-decade career, will lead this lecture and demonstration about the impact that Armstrong had on music and how his New Orleans roots influenced him. Owens will also explore Satchmo’s impact on the English language and the way vocalists sing with help from Grammy-nominated performer Jennifer Jade Ledesna.
Admission is $15, but veterans and seniors can attend for $10. (Refreshments will be served.)
Sounds great and we love the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona. But what’s this about “industrialist?”
The Poppenhusen Institute was funded by the man who basically built College Point.
Conrad Poppenhusen immigrated to New York City after a huge fire destroyed large parts of his native city, Germany’s Hamburg, in 1842. Twelve years later, he opened a rubber factory in College Point, which was rural and sparsely populated at the time. His factory workers, most of whom were German immigrants as well, followed him.
Business boomed, and Poppenhusen became wealthy, but he was also extremely generous. He spent his own money to drain marshes, install water and gas lines, build a sewer, construct a railroad station, pave roads, and plant trees. He also funded a church, library, and the Poppenhusen Institute at 114-04 14th Rd.
This community center, which will host the lecture on Feb. 18, has a fascinating history. It housed the first free kindergarten in the United States (established in 1870) as well as a vocational high school, courthouse, jail, bank, library and a grand ballroom. It received New York City landmark status in 1970 and made the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
There are no subways to College Point, but there’s plenty of street parking around the community center.