• Villa Lewaro Celebrates a New Owner and Plans for the Future

    December 19, 2018

    In the 100th year anniversary of its completion, Madam C.J. Walker's historic Villa Lewaro estate in Irvington, New York is looking forward to a bright future. The New Voices Foundation, whose mission is to help women of color entrepreneurs achieve their vision, will spearhead the stabilization of the structure and planning for future uses.

    “In the one hundred years since Madam Walker built her majestic home, Villa Lewaro, it has served as a landmark both to her own success and to her endeavor to create a space dedicated to the achievement and empowerment of African Americans,” said Brent Leggs, director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.“Under the 25-year stewardship of Ambassador Harold Doley Jr. and his wife Helena, Villa Lewaro flourished as a monument to all that Madam Walker represented; the spirit of American entrepreneurship, perseverance in the face of adversity, and African American achievement. We believe that the New Voices Foundation’s and Dennis Family’s stewardship of this site will not only ensure its future, but will lay the foundation for a new generation of entrepreneurs and cultural leaders to explore ways they too can preserve places that help to tell the full American story.”

    You can read the full press release here.

  • Take a Virtual Tour of Villa Lewaro

    July 18, 2018

    Villa Lewaro isn't usually open to the public, but you can still take a virtual tour of this historic property with narration from Madam C.J. Walker's great-great granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles. The tour includes four interior rooms, terrace, swimming pool, and front of the home.

  • Living History: The Legacy of Madam C.J. Walker

    September 2, 2016

    Villa Lewaro in Irvington, New York

    photo by: Historic New England/David Bohl

    Villa Lewaro, Madam C.J. Walker's estate.

    In celebration of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Washington Post is highlighting people and events featured in the new museum. In their newest piece, the Post talked to Walker's great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles, about growing up with Walker's legacy.

    “It’s admirable and amazing that she became a millionaire just one generation out of slavery and at a time when Jim Crow laws ruled the land,” Bundles says. “But what is more important for me is that she used her wealth and her influence to empower and enrich others by employing thousands of women who otherwise would have been sharecroppers, maids, cooks and laundresses so they could provide opportunities for their children, be leaders in their communities and support their churches and community organizations.”

    Read more in Black wealth, racism and the legacy of the legendary Madam C.J. Walker and make sure to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture after it opens on September 24th.

  • Envisioning Villa Lewaro’s Future

    August 25, 2016

    How might a future owner of Madam C. J. Walker’s Villa Lewaro develop a culture-based business to increase public access and benefit? What kinds of financially sustainable and architecturally compatible uses for the mansion could fund its operation, restoration, and maintenance? These questions and more explore creative ways property owners might re-imagine this future memorial. To read the National Trust for Historic Preservation publication entitled Envisioning Villa Lewaro’s Future, please click here.

  • Madam Walker on Success

    February 26, 2015

    As we near the end of February, and Black History month, we thought it fitting to share this inspiring piece by A’Lelia Bundles on Madam Walker’s keys to success.

    For almost a year, the National Trust has been diligently working to protect and re-imagine new uses for Madam Walker’s estate, Villa Lewaro. Within that work we have come across people from all walks of life, with varied backgrounds and expertise who have been inspired by Madam Walker’s story. To think an African-American woman could beat the tremendous odds against her (segregation, women’s suffrage, etc.) and build a legacy that is still recognized today is unheard of. The more I learn from her the more I believe she had the foresight to know her name would be celebrated long after her time.

    More than ever, African-American woman are taking leadership roles in business, philanthropy and other industries. With such progress happening today, it’s hard not to wonder what type of work ethic Madam Walker had when building her own empire. Read about what she considered to be her keys to success and share your own by using the #MadamCJWalker hashtag! We want to hear from you!

    Biography.com - Madam C.J. Walker’s Secret’s to Success

    Oh, and March is Women’s History Month. Check back to see how we draw connections between Madam Walker and other dynamic women of her time period.

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