Richmond City Council approves Maggie Walker statue

Triangle at Broad, Adams and Brook intersection
Triangle at Broad, Adams and Brook intersection

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Should Richmond build a monument to Maggie Walker? That was the question at City Hall Monday night. And City Council's answer was a resounding yes.

In a city of monuments, leaders want this monument to be a big deal. They do not want something that will blend into the background, but a statue that will make people think about the accomplishments of the first African American woman to run a bank.

"Dream no small dreams," is the famous phrase from Maggie L. Walker. A monument to honor her life is Melvin Jones' dream. He is the president of the Maggie Walker Alumni Association.

"This is something that's been well overdue," he said.

And with one vote, that dream is one step closer to coming true. The monument would go in Councilman Charles Samuels' district.

"I think one of the most important things you can do as a city council person is remember those and honor those who have paved the way for the city to become great," he explained.

Councilman Chris Hilbert said Walker's achievement as the first woman to act as president of a bank should serve as an example to today's Richmonders.

"She inspired a generation of people to save for their own dreams and I think that's particularly pertinent to today," Hilbert told NBC12.

Under the ordinance, the city will study if the intersection of Broad Street, Adams Street and Brook Road will make for a good location. Originally, Samuels wanted the statue to go on Monument Avenue but he's been convinced Jackson Ward is the perfect place.

"This makes good sense to be in a place where Maggie Walker worked, where she lived, where she walked the streets," he said.

The project will be funded through private donations. Jones also asked City Council to consider renaming a short section of Brook Road near where the monument would be as Maggie Walker Parkway.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved