It Didn’t All Fall Down: Kanye’s Renovations to His Childhood Home Are Complete After Years of Renovation Challenges and Setbacks

After a series of construction setbacks, Kanye West has finished renovating his childhood home in Chicago. This is a win for the producer and musician, who is currently embroiled in a number of legal battles.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Kanye West leaving the Burberry S/S 2022 Catwalk Show during London Fashion Week September 2022 on September 26, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)

West purchased the home in 2016 for $225,000 to run Donda’s House, an arts-based non-profit organization. West and his late mother, Donda West, lived in the home for most of his childhood. West, who was an English professor at Chicago State University, purchased the home for $40,000 in 1981. She sold the home in 2004 for $121,000. The residence was sold several times before going into foreclosure and remaining abandoned for many years. 

West with his mother Donda West (YouTube screenshot,

A Repaired Home, Ready For The Future 

Originally built in 1905, the home is positioned on a 7,000 square foot lot. Inside there’s three bedrooms and one bathroom, a basement, and an upstairs attic space. Donda West made several improvements to the home such as added insulation, new windows and stairs. Yet most of Donda’s renovations were ruined as the residence continued to change hands. 

The renovations on the home include a new roof and new wooden staircases at the front and rear. Security cameras are now positioned to monitor the home. West placed a black steel fence around the residence. As a tribute to his mother, the initials, DH, short for Donda’s House, appear on both the front and driveway gate. In the yard, there are several tree stumps that have been painted in Jamaican colors and a small Haitian Flag. A poster for “The Abolition Institute” is also present on the lawn. 

Renovation Challenges 

When West purchased the home in 2016, he wanted to transform the space into an arts incubator. However, by 2017, city officials announced it would be demolished as a result of structural damage. In 2018, the CIty of Chicago released a report identifying roof damage, missing siding, unstable stairs and other structural issues. City officials filed a demolition court complaint in January 2019, according to the New York Post.

Yet West kept persevering. 

In October 2019, a work permit allowed West to replace the roof and the following month, he was able to repair the electrical writing. However, city officials issued a stop-work order as a result of plaster being removed without a work order. In April 2020, an additional permit was provided so that West could renovate the property.  

Honoring Childhood 

West has featured his childhood home throughout his career. In 2021, he shared a photo of the house on his Instagram account before releasing “Donda.” 

During a listening event for “Donda,” a recreation of the residence was constructed at Chicago’s Soldier Field football stadium. 

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