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Statewide Endangered

2013 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places 











Muddy Waters Residence 

4339 S. Lake Park Ave., Chicago
(Cook County)


The one-time home of legendary Chicago blues musician Muddy Waters, this late 19th-century brick row house in the North Kenwood neighborhood has been vacant for approximately ten years. Currently in foreclosure proceedings, the property was recently cited by the City Building Department for multiple violations, which puts it at risk for a court-ordered demolition. The home is in a city landmark district, which provides protection, unless the Building Court deems the dangerous conditions not remedied. Locals would like to see the building rehabilitated to commemorate Muddy Waters.
Muddy Waters moved to 4339 S. Lake Park in 1954 and lived there until the early 1970s when he moved to the suburbs. The home remained in family ownership. During his years of living there he made various changes to the house and built a rehearsal room in the basement where he hosted many noteworthy blues musicians. After his death in 1983 the house fell into disrepair. There have been efforts by neighbors, artists and Muddy Waters fans to keep the house boarded up, sometimes with decorative murals honoring the blues musician. Late last fall the Building Department, noting its deteriorated condition, cited it as dangerous. The City is working with the current owner to address the violations, but the house remains in Building Court. We hope to work with the owner and other interested parties to develop a plan that will honor the rich legacy of Muddy Waters, as well as enhance community pride around this landmark.

According to Tim Samuelson, cultural historian with the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, this house is “Chicago's REAL ‘House of Blues.’ It's always a favorite of visiting blues fans.”


Additional Links


Muddy Waters’ house no longer on market
Chicago Sun-Times, September 5, 2013

Feel like going home
Chicago Weekly, March 9, 2013

Kenwood blues: Murder, the Muddy Waters House and other laments
Achy Obejas, WBEZ, January 30, 2013

Everything gonna be alright? Muddy Waters' historic South Side home could have date in demolition court
Lee Bey, WBEZ, January 25, 2013

Muddy Waters’ House: An uncertain future







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