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Redevelopment Plans Announced for Former Second Baptist Church

Film and TV Producer Monica R. Butler plans to redevelop the former Second Baptist Church property, located at 500 North Kingshighway Boulevard, into a 40,000-square-foot gospel music hall of fame and cultural arts, entertainment and research center.

“Music brings people and cultures together, and you can’t listen to gospel music and not be moved,” said Butler. “The Gospel Music Hall of Fame will focus on this celebrated aspect of Black culture, along with the recognition of all forms of gospel music, and become an anchor of the community while inspiring visitors of all races and religions through the power of song.”

Steve Smith, CEO of Lawrence Group and co-founder of New + Found, will provide development services for the project. Lawrence Group will provide design and construction for the $22 million historic restoration. Plans for the gospel music hall of fame and cultural arts, entertainment and research center include a state-of-the-art sound stage and film theater, hall of fame museum, education center, café, courtyard and event space.

“This is an ambitious project, and a great opportunity to preserve a part of St. Louis history and create a new cultural attraction for the city,” said Smith. “We are excited to work with Monica and The Butler Group through the process to help realize their vision.”

Built in 1907, the former Second Baptist Church is part of the Holy Corners Historic District, a group of religious and public assembly buildings near the intersection of Kingshighway and Washington Boulevards in St. Louis’ Central West End. The property is an official Landmark of the City of St. Louis and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

To support the future Gospel Music Hall of Fame of Missouri initiative, visit


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