May 15 at 6:00pm 7:00pm

Built in 1891, blues great, Muddy Waters and his family lived on the first floor at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave., in Chicago for nearly two decades. They played host to a bevy of music legends, including Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spam and Chuck Berry. Muddy Waters and his contemporaries created the music that made Chicago synonymous with electric Blues and the center of a cultural shift in music the 1950-60’s.  Chicago blues classics “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Mannish Boy” and many other hit songs were recording during Muddy’s tenure there.

Muddy’s music helped establish Chicago as a global hub for a modern, electric take on Delta blues. The city’s blues scene had a major influence on the development of rock ‘n’ roll, soul, R&B and subsequently Hip Hop.

Waters’ great-granddaughter, Chandra Cooper, currently owns the property and intends to open a museum in honor of Muddy Waters called, The MOJO Museum.  

Muddy Waters and blues music formed a cornerstone of the cultural history and identity of our country. The MOJO Museum will ensure that history lives on and will provide the bridge to the next generation of music-makers. The museum will not only engage its surrounding neighbors and music lovers; it envisions robust programming to educate the younger generation and the surrounding area on the importance of preserving the legacy of the blues through education, photography, art, stories and memorabilia.

This presentation will study how owners’ transition or reimagine purpose-built or already adapted structures to compete in a complex and changing urban market.

This presentation will also discuss how this building will help preserve the story of the artist, Muddy Waters and the community culture.  It will also include the challenges/opportunities involved in repurposing an 1890’s structure into a “house museum” that has a period of significance in the 1970’s, located in a residential area of Chicago. It will discuss the approach to which common materials and finishes, installed by Muddy Waters during the period of significance, to be restored/replaced/removed.   Also, the presentation will include the unique approach on how the design team will address the “raw basement” rehearsal space, to a creative experience of blues great, Muddy Waters.

About the speaker:

Edward I. Torrez, is an architect and president of ARDA Design, in Chicago.  He has been specializing in Historic Preservation, Adaptive Reuse, Rehabilitation, Interiors and Urban Planning projects throughout the U.S. for many years.  Ed is leading or has led numerous projects including, The Muddy Waters Home & MOJO Museum, the Pullman National Monument & State Historic Site, the Emmett Till & Mamie Till Mobley National Monument and the Historic Chicago Water Tower. 

He currently serves on the Board of Trustees and Chairs the Trust Advisors and is a member of the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Justice Working Group for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  He is also on the Board of Directors for Latinos in Heritage Conservation (LHC), a national Latinx preservation organization. 

Ed has also served on the Chicago Commission on Landmarks and was a member of the Illinois State Historic Sites Advisory Committee (ISHAC), which reviewed Illinois site nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.

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