When Maggie Walker commissioned Charles Russell to renovate her home in 1922, she significantly expanded the house by adding new rooms both upstairs and downstairs. With four generations and up to 12 people under one roof, every square inch of the property was maximized.
Additions included the narrow den on the western side of the house that served as an informal living room as well as a hallway. While the front parlors were used for special gatherings, holidays, and formal entertainment, this den functioned as a relaxed social space for everyday use. Melvin Walker, a 1916 graduate of Shaw University, entertained his fraternity brothers here during numerous late night gatherings. Melvin’s 1918 certificate from the Zeta chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity hangs on the wall above the Victrola phonograph. A testament to the family’s modernity, this Victrola was not only an electric model, but it contained a radio and speaker built into its wooden cabinet.