True Reformer Building

True Reformer Building

The True Reformer Building is an historic building constructed for the True Reformers, an African American organization founded by William Washington Browne.

During the True Reformer Building's dedication in 1903, the Reverend William Lee Taylor stated that the goal was to "put up a building in Washington that would reflect credit upon the Negro race."

It is significant that the building took shape as a result of an African American architect, with African American financing, and built with African American hands.

The Reformer Building was the first building in the United States to be designed, financed, built, and owned by the African American community after Reconstruction. It was designed by John Anderson Lankford, the city’s first African-American registered architect.

The building was commissioned by the Grand United Order of True Reformers in 1902 and was dedicated on July 15, 1903.

The Reformer Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.