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Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company

Indianapolis, Indiana
County of Marion.
617 Indiana Avenue
National Register Number: 80000062
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Industry/Processing/Extract. - manufacturing. The threat level was Satisfactory in
Congressional District: IN-7 Certified Local Government: NO
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Current use/information: Theater is open to the public.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - July 17, 1991):
This building (1927) was the hub of the beauty industry initiated and developed by Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919), the first Black woman to open the field of cosmetology as a new and lucrative industry for Black women. For years, the Walker Company was the most successful Black business in the United States. Besides being the national headquarters and manufacturing site where approximately 3,000 women were employed, the Walker Company also served as a community cultural center, housing a ballroom and theater (recently restored and reopened.) The Walker Theater is one of the few remaining examples of Africanized architecture popularized in the 1920s and '30s.

New development to include a hotel and restaurant. Should present no threat to the landmark but it does need to be monitored.

1. Developing master plan for surrounding area to support the landmark. Development to use parking lot north of the structure. Newspaper articles and photos on file at George Rogers Clark NPS site. 2. Building was re-carpeting in 2007 3. New boiler and chiller installed in 2007.

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