St. Louis to turn Chuck Berry’s one-time home into museum

CHICAGO - JANUARY 01: Chuck Berry performs at the Congress Theater on January 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis is planning to convert Chuck Berry’s one-time home into a museum and to create a cultural district around it honoring the rock `n’ roll legend and other prominent African-Americans who have lived in that part of the city.

The city on Monday solicited bids for the project. It will be centered around the north St. Louis home where Berry lived for eight years in the 1950s. During that time, he wrote many of his biggest hits, including “Maybelline,” “Roll Over Beethoven,’ “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode.”

The museum would anchor a “Chuck Berry Cultural District,” to honor Berry, who died in March at age 90, and the area’s African-American heritage.

“The Greater Ville” neighborhood was among the few areas where blacks could own property in the early to mid-1950s. It was home to many other famous African-Americans, including singers Josephine Baker and Tina Turner, comedian Dick Gregory and tennis star Arthur Ashe.