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Muddy Waters’ house no longer on market

Muddy Waters's home S. Lake Park Ave. is vacant boarded but includes flamingo mural painted by Chris Toepfer mirror original

Muddy Waters's home on S. Lake Park Ave. is vacant and boarded, but includes a flamingo mural painted by Chris Toepfer to mirror the original details on the door. | Peter Holderness/Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: September 5, 2013 7:36AM

The historic Muddy Waters house is off the market.

The house at 4339 S. Lake Park was listed for a $100,000 short sale June 11 and went under contract later that day.

Chandra Cooper, a relative of Waters, is sole owner of the house where the blues giant (a.k.a. McKinley Morganfield) lived between 1954 and 1974, the fertile years of the merging of blues and rock ’n’ roll. Foreclosure activity began last fall. The four-bedroom house was sent into Cook County Housing Court in the spring. On June 7, Cooper’s attorney Erik Miles issued a statement: “Ms. Cooper’s intent is to preserve this historic landmark, which the entire community enjoys. We look forward to a successful resolution of the matters pending.”

The non-profit Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) was appointed receivers of the house. On Tuesday Bryan Esenberg, the group’s head of receivership said, “What is curious about the MLS listing is that it said access to the interior home not available. So there’s no showings. Yet it went under contract the day it was listed.”

Calls and emails to Miles were not returned.

The house was built in 1879. It is listed on the Landmark Illinois 2013 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places list.

Exterior repairs are now being done on north and south brick walls and near the gutters. Cooper is scheduled to housing court Nov. 21 to prove all repairs have beencompleted.

Waters’ grandson Steven McKinley Monson launched an online fundraising campaign at to help restore the house. So far, Monson has raised $270. The bank reportedly is asking for an Arms Length Transaction that prohibits sale of the house to relatives of Waters.

The 31-year-old Monson is moving forward with a Sept. 21 Waters tribute at the Checkerboard Lounge, 5201 S. Harper Ct. Woody and the Chucks and Baby Brutha will play covers in a battle of the bands sponsored by Hyde Park Records.

Waters was in regular rotation at the original Checkerboard, 423 E. 43rd St. The Rolling Stones sat in with him at the original Checkerboard after a 1981 concert, which was documented in the recent “Live at the Checkerboard Lounge” film.

Monson also would like to establish a Muddy Waters Music Festival.

“I have no memories of spending time here,” Monson said during a recent interview at the house. “But you can sit on this porch for 15, 20 minutes, you can feel something magical going on inside this home.”


Twitter: @DaveHoekstra66

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