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A Makeover for the Madame Walker

The 91-year-old Madame Walker Theatre is getting a facelift, funded by the Lilly Endowment.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Madame Walker is getting a makeover.

The Madame Walker Theatre Center on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis is getting a $15 million facelift, courtesy of the Lilly Endowment.

The theater is partnering with Indiana University to modernize and refurbish the 91-year-old National Historic Landmark, which was last updated in the 1980s. 

Major renovations include new equipment, a remodeled building interior and exterior, and new heating and air conditioning systems, according to IndyStar

The four-story, triangular arts center was built in 1927 and is named for pioneering African-American businesswoman, "Madame" C.J. Walker.

Walker came to Indianapolis in 1910 and built a factory to make hair products, on which she had built her fortune. When Walker died in 1919, planning for the building that bears her name was already underway.

Work on the building is expected to begin this summer and be complete sometime in 2019.

 (Photo by Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.)

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