Exploring Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
The Maggie Walker National Historic Site symbolizes economic empowerment for African Americans just north of downtown Richmond.
Maggie Walker is a civil rights activist and pioneering black entrepreneur. Her legacy is one of immense achievement in the realms of business and finance. Apart from a bustling headquarters office, newspaper launch, and department store opening, she was the nation’s first African-American female bank president. The historic site comprises six buildings located on the north side of East Leigh Street within a residential block known as “Quality Row.” This area was home to lawyers, doctors, ministers, and bankers in the era of Jim Crow in Jackson Ward. Let Pam’s local knowledge give you deeper insights into Maggie’s remarkable impact on African-American economic empowerment and equality.
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: Maggie Walker was committed to dismantling racism, sexism, and economic oppression. She used her voice to champion equal rights and fair employment, with a particular focus on women. Her dedication extended to serving on the boards of local and national civic organizations, including the National Association of Colored Women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She became a beacon of hope for enslaved Black individuals and a guiding light, devoted to her family and uplifting her community.
MAGGIE WALKER HOUSE: The centerpiece of the Maggie Walker National Historic Site, Richmond, VA, is her primary residence. It was constructed in 1883 by George Boyd, a local African-American builder. It evolved from a modest, five-room Italianate row house into a sprawling two-story, 28-room urban Victorian mansion by 1928. Inside, the spaces are adorned with period furnishings dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Today, it is a fully restored iconic building, serving as a tribute to Mrs. Walker’s courage and unwavering determination.
ENRICHING MUSEUM: The interior of the main house has been repurposed into a museum and a visitor center for a deeper exploration of her life and achievements. The guided tours offer a glimpse into her world, showcasing personal items, furnishings, artwork, and the immensely significant Maggie Walker Family Papers. These archives unveil rare photographs alongside speeches, correspondence, diaries, and business documents. They narrate the captivating story of a woman who rose from humble beginnings to a prominent role in the fight for social change.
5 Real Estate Facts about Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
- To combat racism and foster economic independence in the black community, Maggie Walker chartered the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in 1903. Through subsequent mergers, it became the Consolidated Bank & Trust, which carries on today as the oldest continuously operated African-American-owned bank in the United States.
- The historic home of Mrs. Walker accommodated her family spanning four generations, from her mother to her youngest grandchildren.
- In 1975, it earned the prestigious designation of a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
- In 1978, the National Park Service purchased the 1.29-acre property, including her home of three decades, transforming it into a National Historic Site.
- The house retains the original 1929 elevator, which was added to assist Maggie L. Walker in reaching the second floor when she was confined to a wheelchair.
Latest Historic Homes for Sale near Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, VA
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site Map
Maggie Walker National Historic Site is at 110½ E. Leigh Street. It is between N 1st and 1N 2nd St in the Jackson Ward neighborhood.
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It’s my good fortune to grow up in this beautiful region that has deep roots in American history. From an early age I’ve explored the gorgeous countryside of Central Virginia, often on the back of a horse. As a proud owner of a historic home, I’m particularly familiar with the quirks and charms of the older properties in our area. My experience with historic properties makes me especially qualified to assist you with the purchase or sale of one of these unique properties.