Joe Edwards Aquires Mt. Olive Church in The Delmar Loop

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Joe Edwards has added to his holdings in The Loop, purchasing the long-vacant Mt. Olive Church at 6166 Delmar. Future plans for the site have not been made public and no sale price is available. The building is across the street from the Pageant concert venue and Moonrise Hotel, both owned be Edwards.

Though no plans have been finalized, Edwards has a history of creative adaptation and reuse of his properties. Just east of the Pageant, the longtime location of Big Shark Bicycles has undergone a transformation into Delmar Hall, a concert venue. The Moonrise Hotel features the demolished and rebuilt facade of a former funeral home.

In October of last year, Emerson pledged $5M to the Missouri Historical Society to fund half of the hoped for $10M African-American History Endowment campaign. The endowment is planned to fund African-American collections, exhibitions, and community programs at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.

The gift marked the end of efforts to transform the church building into an African-American Cultural Center. Funding and operation a standalone center was deemed to be unsustainable by project leaders. That effort dates back nearly two decades.

Owned by the St. Louis Heritage Foundation prior to its sale, the building at 6166 Delmar was home to the Olivet Missionary Baptist Church from 1973 to 2001. Edwards recently sold the historic Wabash Railway Station to Washington University in St. Louis.

Mt. Olive Church, 6166 Delmar:



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  • Luftmentsch

    This was actually built as a synagogue and was part of the strong Jewish presence in Skinker-Debaliviere, which has been mostly forgotten.

    I’m not sure why anyone thinks the take-over by Edwards is good news. He sat on the Wabash station for years. He’s been letting the Rosedale building literally fall apart.

    Now that we’re subsidizing transportation from his concert venues to his restaurant (via the trolley), I supposed there might be more impulse for development. But I thought the whole argument behind the trolley was that it would spur “new” investment.

  • Ben Harvey

    This would be a beautiful new venue or expansion for the Griot Museum of Black History. It is a far more trafficked area that would attract pedestrians and tourists who wouldn’t normally venture so far off the beaten path. What better street to put a museum about black history than the great Delmar Divide itself?

  • Presbyterian

    I look forward to to seeing his plans develop. I see this as a very positive move!

  • Michael C

    I am so glad this property is moving forward and I’m glad it is in Joe Edward’s hands. We could use some other developers but at least we know the historic structure will most likely be preserved and restored. It would be a great place for plays or chamber music. We have a lot of pop, jazz, blues, rock, and alternative music in the Loop. How about a place where we have some classical music too. Just a suggestion. It could give the Loop even more diversity.

    • Ben Harvey

      Would have been a great spot to put Delmar Hall