Last updated: January 17, 2018
Maggie Walker National Historic Site
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond, Virginia, commemorates the life of Maggie L. Walker, a progressive and talented African American woman. Maggie Lena Walker was born in Richmond on July 15, 1864, during the final year of the American Civil War and became a strong leader in her community. Despite facing many adversities in post-Civil War Richmond, Walker achieved national acclaim as the leader of a fraternal organization and a member of countless national organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She became a national activist for economic independence, educational opportunities, and civil rights, particularly on behalf of women and children in the African American community.
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site encompasses Walker’s home at 110½ East Leigh Street within Richmond’s Jackson Ward National Historic Landmark District, once one of the most prosperous African American communities in the United States. The historic Jackson Ward is known as the birthplace of African-American entrepreneurship (“The Cradle of Black Capitalism”) and is one of the largest (42 city blocks) national historic landmark districts associated with African American history and culture in the United States. The park manages and administers six structures along roughly one-quarter of a city block at Second and East Leigh Streets in Richmond. The Italianate-style Maggie L. Walker House, Walker’s home of 30 years, has been restored to its 1930s appearance on the exterior and interior and is fully furnished with Walker’s original pieces. The other five structures within the park have been rehabilitated and adaptively reused for various purposes, including the park’s visitor center, museum exhibits and gallery, curatorial storage, and administrative offices.