Maya Angelou's Birthplace Named STL Landmark

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

Literary legend Maya Angelou’s birthplace has been named a historic landmark in St. Louis, reported St. Louis Public Radio on Nov. 1. The house dates back to 1888.

The house, located at 3130 Hickory St. in The Gate district, became the city’s newest historical landmark after the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted for the designation, which will restrict the alterations owners can make to the property.

Homeowner Robin Wright, with help and advice from Andrew Weil, executive director of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis and Betsy Bradley, director of the city’s Cultural Resource Office, kicked off the effort to get the building recognized this summer. Wright’s alderman Marlene Davis was leading the effort to get the bill through the board, according to the Post-Dispatch in June.

Image from Google Maps

Image from Google Maps

The house belonged to her maternal grandparents at the time of her birth in 1928. Though Angelou would later move from St. Louis, the city is where she spent her first three years before being sent with her older brother to her paternal grandmother in Arkansas after her parents’ divorce. At 8, Angelou and her brother moved back to St. Louis to live with their mother not far from the Hickory Street house.

“This modest house in a once-segregated St. Louis neighborhood helps to convey the journey Ms. Angelou made to become a renowned author, poet, performer, and outspoken civil rights activist,” reads the bill. “Although Ms. Angelou’s life was spent in many places in the United States and abroad, the property comprises an important part of the history of one of the most prominent and respected women of her generation.”

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