Street renamed for Madame C.J. Walker and A’Lelia Walker

Madam C.J. Walker in an early automobile

Image via Wikipedia

We’re not sure how this one slipped past us but 136th Street, the former block of a townhouse built by Madame C.J. Walker, has been renamed in honor of the first African American female millionaire and her daughter.  Walker made her fortune peddling her own brand of hair care products, then established a hair care empire with salons and beauty schools that stretched across the country.

In 1913, she hired an African-American architect to construct a townhouse on W. 136th St. in Harlem.

After Walker’s death six years later, her daughter and only child, A’Lelia, converted a floor of the home into a salon known as “The Dark Tower” – a gathering spot for uptown luminaries including W.E.B. DuBois and Langston Hughes.

The building was torn down in the ’40s, but the street sign will offer a reminder of its presence and importance.

Read more:

Photo credits: A’Lelia Bundles/Walker Family Archives/


4 thoughts on “Street renamed for Madame C.J. Walker and A’Lelia Walker

  1. Greetings D. Bell,
    It was great to see your post about Madam C. J. Walker and A’Lelia Walker Place. As Madam Walker’s great-great-granddaughter and biographer, it truly was an honor to be invited to represent my family at the signing ceremony for the bill with Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall earlier this month. Here’s a link to the NY Daily News article about the event:
    I hope your blog visitors will have a chance to visit our website at for biographical info about Madam Walker and A’Lelia Walker and to read my book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker.
    A’Lelia Bundles
    Washington, DC

  2. I just wanted to inform your readers of this very important fact – Madame C.J. Walker’s historic company still exists today and has never stopped manufacturing all of the original hair oils! Please visit our website at to view and purchase the full product line. The website also contains valuable information about Raymond Randolph’s purchase of the original Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in 1985 from the Walker Trustees in Indianapolis, indiana and how his family continues to keep Madame Walker’s “true” legacy alive. Due to our ownership of Madame’s historic company and the historical documents and memorabilia of the company, the Randolph Family can provide the most detailed and historically sound information about Madame C.J. Walker and her company by calling toll free, 866-552-2838 or going to the contact us page of our website.

    Angela Randolph

  3. It’s a shame that no one is interested in buying Villa Lewaro which is up for sale, the landmarked mansion of Madam Walker in upper Yonkers.A place where the Elite of the Harlem Renaissance met. Villa Lewaro should be purchased by a Harlemite and turned into a summer retreat for Harlem and Urban Youth.

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