The city of Richmond built this elementary school on the former site of a prominent residence, the Van Lew House, an enormous, architecturally sophisticated structure. The house was the home of Elizabeth Van Lew and the birthplace of Maggie Lena Walker. Van Lew's image has engaged the imagination of generations of Richmonders. A Union sympathizer, she supposedly was a spy who housed Union troops, trained housekeepers to infiltrate the White House of the Confederacy, and passed information to Union generals. Maggie Walker, daughter of the Van Lews' cook and born at the Van Lew House, was the first female bank president in the United States. Her house is preserved in Jackson Ward and is a National Historic Site. The red brick and limestone school building is nominally Collegiate Gothic in its pointed-arched entry but has Jacobean Revival parapet details.
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