Maxwell Street Foundation

Maxwell Street Foundation Preserves and interprets the history of Chicago's Maxwell Street. Our organization, along with vendors, shoppers, and residents didn't want the market moved from its historic location for the expansion of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.

We submitted two National Register of Historic Places nomination applications for a Maxwell Street historic district, but the nominations were defeated at the national level. Ultimately, an agreement preserved eight buildings and one façade for adaptive re-use and the reinstallation of twelve historic facades onto new buildings in the redevelopment of the area.

We submitted two National Register of Historic Places nomination applications for a Maxwell Street historic district, but the nominations were defeated at the national level. Ultimately, an agreement preserved eight buildings and one façade for adaptive re-use and the reinstallation of twelve historic facades onto new buildings in the redevelopment of the area.

Operating as usual

09/29/2021
"No Covid Blues!" Public Health Video by founder of the Maxwell Street Market Blues Band - Maxwell Street Foundation

"No Covid Blues!" Public Health Video by founder of the Maxwell Street Market Blues Band - Maxwell Street Foundation

Lori ‘Low-reen’ Lewis, the lead singer and band leader is a registered nurse working with homeless people. She was a student of Chicago Blues legend David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards and wanted to give back for the help she got learning to play Blues from Mr. Edwards and many other Blues musicians sh...

No Covid Blues!
09/03/2021
No Covid Blues!

No Covid Blues!

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, Chicago Blues Man & Alligator Recording Artist Toronzo Cannon wrote No Covid Blues and generously put it out there. Ste...

A Maxwell Street Polish, Keeping Chicago History Alive — The Conservation Center
08/17/2021
A Maxwell Street Polish, Keeping Chicago History Alive — The Conservation Center

A Maxwell Street Polish, Keeping Chicago History Alive — The Conservation Center

We were honored when the Maxwell Street Foundation brought in a treasure from a bygone era: a hand-painted pressboard sign attributed to Gus Korn, an artist who hand-painted the iconic Vienna Beef signs from the 1950s to mid-1980s in a shed behind the factory.

Perfect summer day at Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, whether you want to dance, eat, shop, or listen to some authentic...
08/15/2021

Perfect summer day at Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, whether you want to dance, eat, shop, or listen to some authentic electrified blues music. Today I brought two of my kids, and we bought hats, ate tacos (vegetarian for my daughter) and churros, enjoyed the sun and the stroll, met some sweet doggos. #bluesmusic #leftyvince #outdoormarket #sweethomechicago #summerinthecity #dcase

Photos from Maxwell Street Market's post
08/15/2021

Photos from Maxwell Street Market's post

Photos from City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development's post
08/07/2021

Photos from City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development's post

07/28/2021

See YOU this Sunday! #MaxwellStreetMarket

Photos from Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66's post
07/24/2021

Photos from Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66's post

And the Maxwell Street Foundation ‘s table will be there too!
07/18/2021

And the Maxwell Street Foundation ‘s table will be there too!

Photos from Maxwell Street Market's post
07/18/2021

Photos from Maxwell Street Market's post

The Maxwell Street Foundation folks will be at our table this Sunday and there's this too!
07/16/2021

The Maxwell Street Foundation folks will be at our table this Sunday and there's this too!

The Maxwell Street Foundation folks will be at our table this Sunday and there's this too!

06/29/2021

Spend your July 4th at our HOUSE!

Join us for our Independence Day Celebration with HOUSE music by DJ Jes and El Caveman from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.! FREE admission and ALL ages welcome!

Photos from Maxwell Street Community Garden's post
06/14/2021

Photos from Maxwell Street Community Garden's post

Chicago’s great cultural asset, the Maxwell Street Market, is back and open the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month.  It’s ...
06/06/2021

Chicago’s great cultural asset, the Maxwell Street Market, is back and open the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. It’s hopping today, a classic Chicago scorcher. Come on out and get a churro, some tamales or tacos, a cool treat, your bike repaired … and just about anything else you want used and new being sold by a myriad of local vendors. And be sure to stop by the @maxwellstreetfoundation table and say hello. (Also, on 6/20 you can get a COVID-19 vaccination at the Market - Pfizer or J & J.) #maxwellstreet #chicago #outdoormarket #summerinthecity #dcase

Maxwell Street Market re-opens Sunday, June 6, 9am-3pm
05/31/2021
Maxwell Street Market

Maxwell Street Market re-opens Sunday, June 6, 9am-3pm

The Maxwell Street Market is a Chicago tradition with an eclectic mix of handmade crafts, resale housewares and clothing, live music, family fun and some of the best street food in Chicago.

05/06/2021
A Cultural Geography of the Black Metropolis in the 1960s · Mapping the Blues · Digital Chicago
05/02/2021
A Cultural Geography of the Black Metropolis in the 1960s · Mapping the Blues · Digital Chicago

A Cultural Geography of the Black Metropolis in the 1960s · Mapping the Blues · Digital Chicago

Using the photographic archive of Raeburn Flerlage at the Chicago History Museum, Mapping the Blues combines images of blues performances and the built environment to reveal a new dimension of black Chicagoans' cultural geography in the midst of a massive wave of migration and the emerging "urban cr...

Introduction · Lightweight: On Barney Ross, a Jewish Boxer in Chicago · Digital Chicago
05/02/2021
Introduction · Lightweight: On Barney Ross, a Jewish Boxer in Chicago · Digital Chicago

Introduction · Lightweight: On Barney Ross, a Jewish Boxer in Chicago · Digital Chicago

Beryl Rasofsky, aka Barney Ross (1909-1967), led an extraordinary American life. Growing up in Jewish ghetto of Chicago’s Maxwell Street neighborhood, Barney worked briefly for Al Capone before becoming a Golden Gloves champ and then a professional fighter, eventually becoming one of the few tripl...

05/02/2021

You can rent our Bluesmobile,
Either with or without Jake & Elwood, for your event.
For more information contact
[email protected]

Do people know about this proposed ordinance that would block & restrict house museums? I saw a list of existing and dev...
03/21/2021
Sign the Petition

Do people know about this proposed ordinance that would block & restrict house museums? I saw a list of existing and developing projects that'd be adversely affected by this thing - and it seems like such a waste! I actually don't understand what the reasoning is behind this ordinance - would someone who understands zoning better than me be able to explain? https://www.change.org/p/ordinance-would-block-emmett-till-mamie-till-mobley-house-museum

REJECT the Ordinance that would Block the Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley House Museum!

Address

Chicago, IL
60612

General information

The Foundation hopes to find solutions to preserve the Gethsemane Baptist Church building and the Maxwell Street Blues Bus, and to find permanent home(s) for the Maxwell Street Foundation's collection of historic artifacts.

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

(312) 421-0078

Products

-Co-produced film with filmmaker Shuli Eshel, entitled Maxwell Street: A Living Memory, about the descendants of Jewish immigrants who lived and/or worked on Maxwell Street
-Authored a photographic book in association with the Chicago Historical Society entitled Chicago’s Maxwell Street by Arcadia Publishing
-Produced an original theatrical piece “And This Was Free” by playwright Idris Goodwin, using the legendary Maxwell Street Blues Bus that sold Blues recordings at the original Market as a stage set
-Collected architectural and historic artifacts from Maxwell Street since 1995. A loan from this collection was made to the Museum of Science and Industry for its exhibition, Sweet Home Chicago: Big City Blues 1946–1966 produced by Seattle’s Experience Music Project Museum.
-Produced a Maxwell Street Collection limited edition photographic portfolio with the works of well-known photographers
-Sponsor a non-profit booth at the annual Chicago Blues Festival featuring the Maxwell Street Blues Bus in 2008, 2009, and 2010
-Brought the Blues Bus to the New Maxwell Street Market Labor Day 2010
-Funded historic research in 2009 to verify that the earliest, extant building remaining in the old Maxwell Street neighborhood was built as Chicago’s first German School and stands today as the former Gethsemane Baptist Church.

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Comments

CHICAGO CATOLICO makes a great gift for Father's Day or college grads interested in Chicago history, Many stories from the Near West Side c1920-65. A "not to miss" book (Sun Times) Order straight from University of Illinois Press: use code S20UIP to get 30% off. https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/95tax2tf9780252042973.html
Joe B, Sambo and Terrel at the Wash's lounge on W.Madison (june 2013).
At one time, the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund--www.mtzionmemorialfund,org--was a member of the Maxwell Street Historic Preservation Coalition. Thanks for sharing our page and the kind words. We have an ongoing project for an obscure country blues artist who moved to Chicago and then back to Camden, Mississippi to retire on a little plot of land. I have located tons of lost info about his life here, but nada in Chi-town. I'm sure you could help me crack the Chicago Conundrum of Belton Sutherland. Let's talk sometime
street naming Terrence "terry" Callier Way, June 16, 11:00am Seward Park 375 W. Elm
street naming Terrence "terry" Callier Way, June 16, 11:00am Seward Park 375 W. Elm