Historic New Orleans Jazz Site Karnofsky Shop Destroyed by Hurricane Ida

A historic New Orleans building where a young Louis Armstrong once worked—that some say helped launch his career—was destroyed by Hurricane Ida over the weekend.

Video posted to Twitter by Jack Royer, an anchor for WIAT-TV—a New Orleans television news station—shows the extent of the damage. Where the Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence once stood, a pile of rubble lies in its place. The building was rich with jazz history.

The Karnofsky Shop - a historic New Orleans Jazz shop - collapsed in the storm, along with a mural or jazz legends next door.

Louis Armstrong once worked here. #hurricaineida pic.twitter.com/hkMBDRfbtM

— Jack Royer (@JackRoyer) August 30, 2021

The store was opened in 1913 by the Karnofsky family. They hired Armstrong to work on their coal and junk wagons, but they also provided a second home for him. He would often eat meals with them, and they also loaned him money for his first cornet, helping to launch his career, according to National Park Service.

In 1912, Armstrong was arrested near the site and was sent to the Colored Waif's Home, where he became part of a band and began to play his cornet more seriously, according to the park service.

Their son, Morris Karnofsky, went on to open the first jazz record store in New Orleans, Morris Music, which was located at various addresses on South Rampart Street, according to the park service.

The store is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans, a local nonprofit, called it a "huge loss."

To be more accurate the Karnofsky Tailor Shop, but just a huge loss

— MaCCNO (@musicculture504) August 30, 2021

The Louis Armstrong House Museum described it as "heartbreaking" on Twitter.

Heartbreaking news out of New Orleans. Hope all of our friends down there are safe! https://t.co/VyHhByTt0f

— Louis Armstrong (@ArmstrongHouse) August 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida made landfall over the weekend as a Category 4 storm before weakening. By Monday morning, at least one person had been killed in the storm—a 60-year-old man from Ascension Parish who was killed by a fallen tree. More than 1 million people were left without power in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Th storm brought significant damage to some areas. Nearly every home in Jefferson Parish suffered reported roof damage and low water pressure, Newsweek previously reported. The hurricane also damaged a major power transmission tower along the Mississippi River.

Videos posted to social media show the extent of damage, including one video that captures the hurricane ripping a roof from a home.

The storm brought intense flooding of more than 10 feet and winds of up to 150 miles per hour.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in a video statement that the hurricane "packed a very powerful punch." He said the state's levees performed well, but the storm still brought significant damage from wind, rain and storm surges.

Efforts are now focusing on relief and rescue. Edwards said thousands of officials are out with boats and helicopters to facilitate search and rescue operations. The U.S. National Guard had deployed more than 5,000 members to help with relief and rescue efforts, and nonprofits are raising money and seeking volunteers to help the victims of the hurricane.

New Orleans
The historic Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence was destroyed by Hurricane Ida over the weekend. Here, a Louisiana National Guard truck drives by the Joy Theater in New Orleans on Monday. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images