Muddy Waters Home Granted Landmark Status – To Become a Museum Dedicated to the Father of Chicago Blues!
The North Kenwood home where blues legend Muddy Waters once lived is planned to be converted into The MOJO Muddy Waters House Museum has been granted a final landmark status by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.
This brings this historic music landmark one step closer to becoming an official city of Chicago landmark. The Landmarks Commission granted preliminary landmark status to the property at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave., which is owned by Muddy Waters great-granddaughter who is looking to convert it into The MOJO Muddy Waters House Museum.
The next step is to go before the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards. Once this committee gives it’s approval, it will go before the full council for a vote.
The brick two story building is where Muddy Waters lived on the first floor, rented out the second floor Apartment and had his recording studio in the basement. At one time or another, legends like Otis Spann, Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry lived there.
“We are so elated and happy that the city of Chicago Landmarks Commission has recognized and is honoring the home of my great-grandfather, where there is musical legacy and history,” Cooper said. “We’re on this great path toward becoming one of Chicago’s landmarks, and we are looking forward to working with the blues community, the city and the alderman on this project to leave a piece of his legacy for the city of Chicago.”
The project is among a variety of efforts to honor Black history, and part of a wave of house museums sparking a new tourism sector including museums honoring Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley, Phyllis Wheatley and Lu and Jorja Palmer.
Muddy Waters Arrived in Chicago from rural Issaquena County, Mississippi in 1943, wildly acclaimed as the “Father of Chicago Blues”, Muddy moved his family into the home in 1954 and eventually purchasing it in 1956.
He played house parties at night for extra money, eventually becoming a regular in local nightclubs. By 1948, Chess Records released his first hits, “I Can’t Be Satisfied” and “I Feel Like Going Home,” and his career took off.
Waters lived there until after the death of his wife in 1973. He moved to suburban Westmont, where he lived until his death on April 30, 1983.
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