Louis Armstrong Park is a 32-acre greenspace that contains both the Municipal Auditorium and the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts . Located just across from the French Quarter on N. Rampart St, the park is named for New Orleans’s “favorite son” and is now recognized as the New Orleans Jazz NationalHistorical Park. Since the 1800s, the area has played a significant role in CrescentCity history. Congo Square, a flat of inlaid stone located at the southern corner of the park, is famous for the gatherings of African Americans, enslaved and free, that occurred there on Sundays, the only day of the week when they could sing and dance candidly. The making of music at the Square played a marked role in the development of jazz. Today, local voodoo practitioners still consider it to be a spiritual site and can be found meeting there for rituals.
After 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Louis Armstrong Park was left largely in disrepair until the spring of 2008 when a few hundred volunteers with the national organization Tourism Cares made an effort to restore the area, including the 12-foot statue of New Orleans’ jazz legend Louis Armstrong standing near the park entrance’s famed lighted archway.