True Reformer Building
The True Reformer Building at 1200 U Street NW, was architecturally envisioned and designed by John A Lankford (True Reformer Building). It was built in 1903 and has since been added to the National Register of Historic Places (A National Historic Landmark). The True Reformer building is said to be one of, if not the first, building erected entirely from the work and resources of African Americans. The goal of the building was to reflect the importance and talents of African Americans in Washington DC. This was especially important in the difficult time period for African Americans in which the building was built.
Backstory and Context
The True Reformer Building was also home to many events and celebrations in the African American community. One of the most well known people to perform at events at the building was Duke Ellington (A Historical Landmark). There was even a mural painted on the side of the building in his honor, which was unfortunately taken down in 2012. However, there have been reports that the mural will be restored to its former glory in the near future (Duke Ellington Still Absent).
In 1999, the Public Welfare Foundation bought the True Reformer Building (A Historical Landmark). It is now home to the office space of this foundation. Although the building is no longer being used in quite the way that it used to, it is a building rich with African American history. The True Reformer Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 (A Historical Landmark).