Johnson Publishing Company Test Kitchen
Courtesy: Lee Bey
Courtesy: Landmarks Illinois
How do you save a historic kitchen that's like no other because of its color and design? That's exactly the question that Landmarks Illinois, a statewide historic preservation non-profit, found itself grappling with when historic-preservation advocates asked Landmarks for its help to save the kitchen designed by African-American architect John Warren Moutoussamy. Ebony Magazine Editor Charlotte L. Lyons tested meals in this kitchen before adding them to the magazine's monthly feature, “A Date with a Dish.”
Landmarks stepped in when the building was sold for development and the new owner didn't want the kitchen. The nonprofit bought the kitchen, which included the walls and appliances, for $1. Photographer Lee Bey documented the kitchen before volunteers dismantled it.
The kitchen is now in a storage unit while Landmarks works to find a new owner. Landmarks wants a new owner who reassemble, displayed and interpreted as an exhibit or reused for educational purpose at an appropriate location where its historic integrity will remain intact and its story will be celebrated.
Listen to the episode here on iTunes.
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