Muddy Waters' Chicago Home Again In Danger

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The Chicago home of influential blues legend Muddy Waters sits Vacant, the doors to the home still read "Muddy Waters" with hand painted flamingos.
The Chicago home of influential blues legend Muddy Waters sits Vacant, the doors to the home still read “Muddy Waters” with hand painted flamingos. (Photo by American Blues Scene)

The future of the home of widely influential blues legend Muddy Waters, once on track to become a museum dedicated to the late singer, is again threatened after a plan by a private buyer to convert the home to a museum has fallen through. The house is again on the market, as fans and even Muddy’s own children desperately try to create a plan and raise funding to try to give the home the place in history that it deserves.

The house on Lake Park Avenue was placed on Illinois’ Ten Most Endangered Historic Places of 2013.

The home of Waters, who passed in 1983, was once a vibrant source of blues music and community, with many of the greatest players in Chicago Blues history taking part in long jams, extended stays in the basement, and southern cooking. Muddy famously lived in the house starting in 1954 and for at least two decades after.

Waters’ great-granddaughter, Chandra Cooper of Milwaukee, has owned the building since 2002, according to the Huffington Post.

“The city of Liverpool would recognize the historic, cultural and tourism value of John Lennon’s house and never allow it to be torn down,” Alligator Records boss Bruce Iglauer told the Tribune in 2013. “Muddy Waters was every bit as important to the blues and to Chicago as the Beatles were to rock ‘n’ roll and Liverpool.”

One possible upside to the Lake Park Ave. home is it’s protected status within the North Kenwood landmark district, according to the Chicago Tribune. The landmarks commission would have to approve any demolition.