3137 Whittier Street in St Louis, was home to Chuck Berry for eight years in the 1950s, a time during which he wrote some of his best loved hits including Maybelline, Roll Over Beethoven, Sweet Little Sixteen and Johnny B Goode.
But the project doesn’t stop there, the city is planning on expanding it into a cultural district aptly named “Chuck Berry Cultural District” which they hope will increase tourism and promote a sense of community and creativity. All things going well, we can hope to have the area considered a must see attraction in St Louis.
Chuck Berry’s old home in St Louis has been considered as the site for a new cultural museum, honouring and celebrating African American culture and Berry’s legacy.
The neighbourhood, which is more commonly known at “The Greater Ville” has its own historical significance in the story of equality and black rights. One of the few areas in the infamously segregated city of St Louis, The Greater Ville was a place where African American people at the time were legally able to own property. The district became home to other iconic musicians and celebrities including Josephine Baker, Tina Turner, comedian Dick Gregory and tennis player Arthur Ashe.
In speaking about his home when it was added to the National Register of Historic places in 2008, Berry fondly reminisces “Many of my favourite songs came about while in that house”.
Continuing to perform in the area up until his death, Chuck Berry was a pillar of not only the music community but also that of St Louis. We are definitely adding the new site to the list of must-sees next time we’re in the USA.