Whittier Street, The Greater Ville

Update: I visited Chuck Berry’s mausoleum in this post from late May of 2020.

Whittier Street. It is actually one of the most culturally significant streets in world cultural history, and the City of St. Louis apparently could care less. It was on this street that modern rock ‘n’ roll was created by Chuck Berry in the house you see above and below. I know Chuck Berry is an extremely problematic figure, but so are most white artists, and I detected an extreme double standard in the judgment of his legacy when he died compared to often more criminally liable musicians of the Twentieth Century musicians.

Regardless, you’re welcome to revere or despise him, as is the right of all of my readers, but the people living on Whittier today are in need of our help and investment. There is the standard good, bad and ugly.

The secondary streets of St. Louis were laid out by private developers, and Whittier Street does not match up perfectly, so it doglegs weirdly at the end of the street when it approaches Labadie. In many places around the city, short diagonal streets connect up the disparate ends.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Slevin Kelevra says:

    “extremely problematic figure”

    Too much emphasis is placed on the personal aspects of these “celebrities” lives. No one is perfect. Celebrate the music and influence. End of story for me.

    Thanks, glad to be here though.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Thanks, Sara, for your perspective. I’ve gotten a lot of pushback from people for even acknowledging Chuck Berry’s existence, but I agree we cannot ignore his huge influence on the music of the Twentieth Century, regardless of his personal life. Musical history does not make sense without Chuck Berry in it.

  2. THOMAS F MAHER says:

    Is that a piece of crime scene tape around the porch post of Berry’s old house?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      It might be caution tape from when the house next door was demolished. The house to the south was still standing less than a decade ago.

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