Exploring Villa Lewaro, the Home of Madame C.J. Walker

Villa Lewaro, designed by architect Vertner Tandy, was the home of Madame C.J. Walker and later her daughter, A'Leila Walker (formerly known as Leila Walker Robinson). The name Lewaro came from the first two letters of each word in Leila Walker Robinson's name and had been coined by famed Italian singer, Enrico Caruso.

Located in Irvington, NY, the 20,000 square foot mansion sits on 3 acres and features 34 rooms.

Built in the 1910s, Villa Lewaro served as both a home and meeting place for prominent figures like W.E.B. Dubois and Langston Hughes. The property was lived in by the Walker family until the death of A'Leila in 1931, where it was then left to the NAACP. Financial woes would see the NAACP selling the property soon after.

The home would become a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976.

In September 2018, the property was sold to the New Voices Foundation which was founded by entrepreneur Richelieu Dennis. Dennis, the current owner of Essence Magazine and founder of Sundial Brands (Shea Moisture), would go on to purchase and relaunch the Madame C.J. Walker brand.

New Voices hopes to renovate the estate and have it serve as a retreat or think tank for women entrepreneurs of color.