Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
3215 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
Phone: 804-771-2017 ext. 23
In spite of a difficult childhood in post-Civil War Richmond, Virginia, Maggie Lena Walker grew to be a woman of national prominence. She was the first woman in the United States to found a bank and helped pave the way for African Americans and women to improve their lives and successes. The National Historic Site was established in 1978 to tell the story of her life and protects the restored and originally furnished home of Maggie L. Walker.
While growing up in Richmond, Maggie L. Walker accomplished many things. Even as a teenager, she served in numerous roles and held many responsibilities. One such role she began at the age of 14, as Right Worthy Grand Secretary for the local council of the Independent Order of St. Luke, and held this position until she died. She also established a newspaper, The St. Luke Herald, to promote better communication between the Order and the public.
Walker was an advocate of people being allowed to pool money together to use for a greater good. In 1903, she did just that when she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. She served as the bank's first president, earning her the recognition of being the first woman to charter a bank in the United States. The bank still thrives today as the oldest continually African American-operated bank in the U.S.
Maggie L. Walker was also active in civic groups. As an advocate of African American women's rights, she served on the board of trustees for many women's groups, such as the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), and the Virginia Industrial School for Girls. She also helped organize and serve as vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was a member of the national NAACP board. She even served as a member of the Virginia Interracial Commission.
When to Visit:
A great time to visit is on or around July 15th, when the park celebrates Maggie L. Walker’s birthday. The site’s hours depend on the season you are visiting. Winter hours are as follows: Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., November 1 through February 28. During the summer, the site is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 1 through October 31.
The site is closed Sundays, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site Visitor Center is located at 600 North 2nd Street in Richmond, VA. If you are driving north on I-95, take exit 76A, Chamberlayne Avenue. Turn left at the light, go to the first light and turn left onto West Leigh Street. Travel 3 blocks to 2nd Street where the National Historic Site will be located on your left.
If you are traveling south on I-95, take exit 76B at Belvidere and turn left at the stop sign onto West Leigh Street. Travel 8 blocks to 2nd Street where the National Historic Site will be located on your left.
Visitors traveling east on I-64, should take I-95 south and follow the above directions for traveling south on I-95. For those heading west on I-64, take the Downtown/ 5th Street exit. Turn right at the first light, Jackson Street. Go two blocks to 3rd Street and turn left. Turn right onto Leigh Street, then turn right onto 2nd Street.
There are no fees or permits required to visit.
Things to Do:
If you just want to stroll around on your own, that’s great, but a great way to make the most of your visit is through a guided tour. Ranger guided tours are given on a first-come first-served basis. Keep in mind, if you are traveling in a group of 10 or more, you must make a reservation.
Kids should check out the Junior Ranger Program! When you arrive, ask about the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site Junior Ranger booklet at the visitor center desk. Visitors between the ages of 8 and 12 can earn a certificate and a patch by completing at least 8 pages of the booklet.
For information on special events, call 804-771-2017.