New details have been revealed for a new small garden as a part of the Muddy Waters museum at 4337 S Lake Park Avenue in North Kenwood. Located just south of the intersection with E 43rd Street, the garden will replace a vacant lot adjacent to the now landmarked once-home of the famed musician. The MOJO, or Muddy waters Original Jam Out Museum and its founder Chandra Cooper partnered with local architecture firm BauerLatoza Studio on the design which was recently presented at a neighborhood meeting.
The 131-year-old traditional Chicago two-flat was built in 1891 and eventually became the first house Muddy purchased in 1965, calling it home until 1973. Within its walls he pioneered modern Chicago Blues especially in the basement where he hosted jam sessions that led to songs still popular today. The museum looks to preserve this history by converting the first floor into a galley with art, photography, and memorabilia of the era, the basement will be the second phase and host a music studio and educational space. All of this along with a restoration of the exterior facade and pink flamingo doors will make up the exhibit spaces.
The adjacent Chicago lot has been used by the museum to host musical performances and events over the last two years, thus they are now proposing it become a formal part of the complex. Towards the front it will hold a new monumental sign, behind it would be various raised plant beds, seating areas, a stage towards the back, and a new mural of Muddy himself would grace the blank brick side wall of the house. Cooper expressed she hopes the space will continue to be a place of healing with live shows, yoga, talks and more in order to give the community its own ‘mini-Millenium Park’ according to Block Club.
Visitors to the museum will be able to park at the nearby One Stop Supermarket, or arrive on bus using CTA Route 43 via a two-minute walk, Route 4 via a 10-minute walk, or the Metra Electric line at the 47th Street station via an 11-minute walk. While no construction timeline for either phases have been announced, the museum has gathered multiple grants and the garden has gotten a $100,000 commitment recently in hopes to reach a groundbreaking soon.