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Emmett Till’s Woodlawn Home, Muddy Waters’ House In Kenwood Among ‘Adopt-A-Landmark’ Grant Finalists

Twelve Chicago landmarks were tentatively selected to receive grants of $100,000-$1.08 million, which will support renovations to publicly accessible portions of the buildings.

Blacks In Green founder Naomi Davis (in white shirt and pants) is joined by community elders for the unveiling of the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley House's city landmark plaque July 25.
Jamie Nesbitt Golden/Block Club Chicago
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WOODLAWN — The owners of 12 Chicago landmarks could receive more than $4 million to help renovate their historic properties, planning department officials announced Monday.

The Woodlawn home of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley, the Kenwood house where Muddy Waters hosted and jammed with fellow blues legends and a Schlitz “tied house” in East Side are among the landmarks tentatively awarded grants from the city’s Adopt-A-Landmark fund.

The full list of finalists, selected from 16 applications submitted this summer:

“Whether it’s for a house of worship, a corner commercial building or a neighborhood tavern, the grants will help preserve these structures for generations of neighborhood residents to come,” planning Commissioner Maurice Cox said in a statement.

Grant awards require approval from the city’s landmarks commission. The finalists will be presented to the commission Dec. 2. All grants of more than $250,000 must also be approved by City Council.

Once awarded, the funds may pay for exterior renovations that are visible from the street or interior renovations that are publicly accessible.

The grants are funded by Downtown construction projects through the Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus program: 10 percent of the payments made by Downtown developers looking to make their projects more dense go toward Adopt-a-Landmark grants.

Past grant recipients include the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in Logan Square and the On Leong Merchants Association in Chinatown.

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