Madame C. J. Walker Building

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Madame C. J. Walker Building

Indianapolis, Indiana

Madam C. J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove)

After moving from Denver and then to Pittsburgh, African-American hair-care mogul Madame C. J. Walker ultimately based her operations in Indianapolis in 1910. While she herself moved to New York City in 1916 and died there in 1919, most of the Walker manufacturing remained in Indianapolis, a city with good railroad connections and a healthy African-American population. Her dream to build a multipurpose building for the black community was only realized by her daughter years after her death. The building had a theater, restaurant, offices, and stores, as well as the Walker company operations. The Walker Theater closed in 1965, but during a renaissance of the area in the 1980s it was renovated and reopened in 1988 and is now a National Historic Landmark. The Walker Theater is one of the few remaining examples of the Africa-inspired architecture popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

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