The First Black Sorority Is Transforming Their Founder’s Former Home Into a Women’s Museum


December 1, 2022

This is how you preserve history!

The former home of Ethel Hedgemon Lyle, the principle founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., will soon be a women’s museum.


The Gamma Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha was in search of a space for the sorority’s nonprofit, the Ivy Alliance Foundation, when one member came across the three-story property being tagged for demolition. The chapter immediately took matters into their own hands and reached out to developer Paul McKee, who owned the home. He was more than pleased to sell it to the sorority and told Post-Dispatch it was a “unique opportunity to support their initiative.”

The property will undergo $4M worth of renovations. It will soon have an adjacent 12,000-square-foot community center that will demonstrate the true act of community by offering job opportunities and skills training to residents. Construction is projected to start next fall with potential completion by summer of 2024. 

Sorority member Tracey Clark Jeffries, who found the property tagged, stated, “Developing underdeveloped areas is a great thing. What we hope is that the people of the community will be able to benefit from it. We want to be there to help them benefit from it.”


The chapter is currently accepting donations towards the renovation and a public land dedication ceremony will take place Dec 2. in St. Louis. 


We can’t wait to see the progress!


Photo: Twitter/Xi Omega AKA/ Gamma Omega chapter

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