November 4, 2021

Landmark Indiana Avenue building unveils improvements

Landmark Indiana Avenue building unveils improvements

The historic Madam Walker Legacy Center on Indiana Avenue recently completed $15 million in renovations. The 95-year old building was founded by America’s first Black millionaire and hair care entrepreneur, Madam C.J. Walker. The center’s president, Kristian Stricklen, said she believes visitors will be excited about the changes.

“There's a brand new beautiful elevator that has different pictures of Madam and her products that is etched into the walls of the elevator,” Stricklen said. “And now the elevator actually goes all the way into the ballroom directly, again, just for wheelchair accessibility.”

The center’s theater has traditionally been an entertainment attraction, but Stricklen said the facility  is looking to broaden its scope to reflect what Madam Walker represented.

“She was an entrepreneur. She was a businesswoman. So we have four pillars that we are working under now, which is entrepreneurship, women's equity, social justice, and then arts and entertainment,” Stricklen said.

The center also has new audio-visual equipment in its theatre and ballroom and its board rooms and tenant spaces also have a fresh look. The center partnered with Indiana University on the design and restoration work, which was funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. IUPUI is working with the center to provide support for its management and rentals, and the school’s Africana Studies department has space in the center.

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