Maggie L. Walker's Bedroom

Maggie Walker had a large and comfortable bedroom on the second floor at the front of the house. While this room was the furthest room from the elevator at the back of the house, it gave Mrs. Walker a commanding view of Quality Row below. Ever a public figure, Walker did not allow her diabetes-induced paralysis to restrict her mobility or visibility in her final years. Here, at the front of the home, she could look out at 2nd and Leigh Streets, to see and be seen by the community she helped build.

The family later enclosed the open-air balcony with windows so that even in the winter, Mrs. Walker could be as “outdoors” as possible, to witness the hustle and bustle of the Harlem of the South. After she stopped marching in the semi-annual St. Luke Cadet’s Parade, the parade altered its route, bringing the procession down Leigh Street, passing Mrs. Walker on her balcony.

Mrs. Walker decorated her room with photographs of her children and grandchildren and a few pieces of religious art. Directly across from her claw foot, four-poster bed, Walker drew daily inspiration from a low-relief plaque depicting Jesus and a group of children with the Gospel passage, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.” It is here in the bedroom that Mrs. Walker passed away on December 15, 1934 at the age of 70 after achieving a rich life full of resilience, leadership, and inspiration.