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Indiana University Partnered With the Madam Walker Foundation

Madam Walker Legacy Center

Project Description

The historic renovation breathes new life into the iconic landmark, dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Madam C.J. Walker. As one of the earliest mixed-used buildings of its kind, the original structure housed the production factory and headquarters for Madam Walker’s cosmetic company.

Project Stats


Indianapolis, IN

Year of Completion



48,000 sq. ft.

Project Gallery

Design Features

Once known as a “city within a building,” the 48,000 sq. ft. renovation restores the 90-year-old factory as a place for community, featuring a 1,500 seat theatre and home offices for the Madam Walker Foundation. Unsealing the windows invites natural light into the space and offers transparency around the activity occurring inside. The enhanced lobby and pre-function space streamline circulation and create a place for visitors to socialize. Improved building accessibility extends visitor access to the roof, allowing for an outdoor gathering space.

Now both a National Historic Landmark and an Indiana State Historic Landmark, the building is a reminder of the Walker Company’s place in history as one of the most successful Black-owned American businesses of the early 1900’s.