“The former South Side home of blues legend Muddy Waters is now a city landmark.
“Built in 1891, Waters and his family lived on the first floor of the home at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave. in Kenwood for nearly two decades, playing host to a bevy of music legends, including Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry, on the second floor. Waters and his contemporaries practiced in the basement.
“The home, known as the ‘unofficial center for the Chicago Blues community,’ was one of three projects City Council unanimously approved for landmark status Thursday. The landmark designation protects the home from demolition and its exterior, which is largely intact from when Waters resided there, can not be significantly changed.
“‘We believe it is essential — culturally and for the legacy of African American history — that this home is designated a city of Chicago landmark,’ Chandra Cooper previously said.
“City Council also approved landmark status for a group of four buildings in Lincoln Park at the corner of North Halsted Street and West Willow Street, described as a ‘gateway’ to the neighborhood.
“Built in the late 1880s by ethnic-German owners, the three-story Italianate and Queen Anne mixed-use brick buildings currently house restaurants on the ground floors.
“Hahn said Tuesday the buildings’ ‘outstanding integrity and proximity, create a rare grouping that have been noted as a highly localized node of activity for nearly 140 years.’
“‘People always recognize that one of the hallmarks of the Lincoln Park community is its historic structures. So the fact that the buildings on these corners have been preserved up until this time, it really is the gateway to this part of Lincoln Park,’ said Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), whose ward shares the buildings with 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins.
“Both Smith and Hopkins acknowledged the longtime efforts of local residents and preservationists to push for the landmark status. ‘These buildings are so worth saving. It is such an important part of the history of the North Side of Chicago,’ Hopkins said.
“Smith rejected a development proposal that would have torn down the building at 1800 N. Halsted St.
“The Monastery of the Holy Cross, formerly the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 3111 S Aberdeen St. in Bridgeport, also received landmark status Thursday.” (Laurence and Maxwell Evans, Block Club Chicago, 10/14/21)
Preservation Chicago has been working diligently on all three efforts for years and is thrilled by this outcome.
Blues Legend Muddy Waters’ Former Home Is Now A Chicago Landmark: The Kenwood home, which also hosted music legends Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry, was one of three projects to receive landmark status Thursday, Justin Laurence and Maxwell Evans, Block Club Chicago, 10/14/21