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St. Louis floats idea of Chuck Berry museum, cultural district

A guest takes photos of the start of the funeral procession for rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry. (April 9, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
A guest takes photos of the start of the funeral procession for rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry in April.

Nearly two months after guitarist Chuck Berrydied, St. Louis is seeking proposals to develop a museum and cultural district in Berry’s former neighborhood.


The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority announced Monday it wants private developers to rebuild Berry’s home in the The Greater Ville neighborhood in north St. Louis. 


It would function as an “experiential museum,” expand the building to incorporate additional museum space and develop streets and public spaces in the area to brand it as the “Chuck Berry Cultural District.”

The proposed location is Berry’s former home at 3137 Whittier St., which the city has owned since 2010 and is in significant disrepair. Experts believe Berry wrote and recorded such groundbreaking songs as "Maybelline," "Roll over Beethoven" and "Johnny B. Goode" at the home.


Berry, who died March 18, was born in the neighborhood and rose to prominence in the 1950s as his guitar work and songs came to define rock ‘n' roll. He was a member of the first class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.   


Officials for the city of St. Louis didn’t return requests for comment. In the announcement, the land authority said it will try to provide developers with tax abatements, credits and rebates over the course of the process.


Developers and designers have until 4:30 p.m., July 10, to submit their ideas.

Follow Willis on Twitter: @WillisRArnold