Muddy Waters’ Chicago Home Moves Closer to Landmark Status

todayAugust 8, 2021

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The Chicago home where blues legend Muddy Waters once lived and recorded music is a step closer to landmark status and becoming a museum in his honor.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday granted final approval of landmark status to the brick two-flat home in the South Side neighborhood of North Kenwood, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. It now moves to the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards and, if approved, to a vote of the full council.

Waters, known as the “Father of Chicago Blues,” moved to the city from rural Mississippi in 1943. He moved his family into the home in 1954 and purchased it in 1956. Waters’ family lived on the first floor of the house. He rented out the upstairs and had a recording studio in the basement.

Waters’ great granddaughter, Chandra Cooper, now owns the property and is converting it into The MOJO Muddy Waters House Museum.

Cooper was “elated and happy” that the landmarks commission recognized and is honoring Waters’ musical legacy and history.

“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,” she said.

After arriving in Chicago in the 1940s, Waters played parties at night for extra cash and later became a regular performer in local nightclubs. Chess Records released his first hits by 1948, and by the early 1950s his blues band had become one of history’s most acclaimed.

Waters’ Chicago home was a gathering place for musicians, and some — including legends like Chuck Berry and Otis Spann — lived there at one time or another. Waters lived in the home until his wife died in 1973. He then moved to suburban Westmont, living there until his 1983 death.

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