The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley House has been selected as a finalist of the city’s Adopt-A-Landmark grant. Located at 6427 S St. Lawrence Avenue in West Woodlawn, the home was recently awarded landmark status in February with its plaque being installed in July on what would have been Emmett’s 80th birthday. The restoration and museum efforts are part of an $11 million project led by Blacks In Green which will include the purchase of two adjoining lots.
The red brick and white trim two-flat was built in 1895 and was the home of the Till’s until the early 1960’s, occupying the second-floor apartment. In 1955 Emmett, at the age of 14, was tortured and murdered by white supremacist in Money Mississippi after allegedly whistling at a woman. His trial and death were some of the catalysts in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, with his federal case finally being closed on December 7th 2021 without any persecutions by the Department of Justice.
The landmark and soon to be museum would receive roughly $250,000 from the grant which will help kickstart restorations to the exterior of the home. These include the repointing of all masonry, rebuilding 25 feet of parapet, cleaning and restoration of the west facade, and the replacement of all doors, windows, and roof among others. The structure has remained remarkably intact from its original design aside from the aforementioned basement windows and the front steps material, the restoration is led by local architect Ed Torres.
The finalist will now need to be approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, however the museum has already secured $600,000 in funds and hopes the potential adoption of the Bronzeville National Heritage Area will help expedite the project. The initial work listed above is set to begin this coming spring and the museum aspect completed by 2024 pending full funding can be secured.