Poet Anne Spencer lived and worked in her Pierce Street home from 1903 until her death in 1975. Internationally recognized as a poet of the Harlem Renaissance period, Spencer was the first Virginian and the first African American to have her poetry included in the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: Early Twentieth Century Through Contemporary.
Spencer was an activist for equality and educational opportunities for all. At her home she hosted dignitaries in the arts, education, science, politics and law, including Langston Hughes, Marian Anderson, George Washington Carver, Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Weldon Johnson, and W.E.B. Dubois. The local chapter of the NAACP was founded from her home.
Anne Spencer was an avid gardener, and built a one-room structure on the property which she called Edankraal, a retreat where she did much of her writing. The retreat was named by combining her first name (Anne) with that of her husband (Ed) in a pun on "Eden," adding the South African term "Kraal" or dwelling.
The Anne Spencer home is a two-story clapboard house, built in 1903. The structrure includes a living room, dining room, sun room, front hall with a phone booth, and kitchen on the ground level; four bedrooms and a sun room on the second floor, and a third floor, still used by grandchildren and closed to the public.
The home occupies a double lot which contains the restored garden and the garden retreat Edankraal. All furnishings, books and the numerous photographs and memorabilia are original.
Geographical and Contact Information
1313 Pierce Street