Madame C. J. Walker Building

Also known as: Walker Theatre, Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company
617 Indiana Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana


Street View 


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. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, July 17, 1991

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 17, 1980
Reference number
NR name
Walker, Madame C. J., Building
Architectural style
American Movement
Areas of significance
Architecture; Performing Arts; Commerce; Entertainment/Recreation; Invention; Education; Social History; Ethnic Heritage - Black; Industry
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
B - Person; A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Specialty store
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • October 24, 2010: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger