Feb 5

Buildings We Love: St. Luke Building

St. Luke Building
902 St. James Street
Edwardian style architecture

“The original part of this building was constructed in 1903 to house one of many fraternal and self-help organizations for blacks that arose around 1900. Under the leadership of Richmond’s charismatic African American banker, Maggie Walker, the Independent Order of St. Luke quickly outgrew its facilities. Walker hired Richmond’s first professional black architect, Charles Russell, to expand the building. For decades this was the heart of the St. Luke organization, with its press and publications in the basement, committees and administration offices on the second and third floors, and Maggie Walker’s office on the top floor. Today the St. Luke building is a dilapidated shadow of its former importance to blacks up and down the East Coast.”

From Built by Blacks by Selden Richardson