Olander Banks Sr. and Margaret Lomax Banks Community Park – Alexandria, Virginia - Atlas Obscura

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Olander Banks Sr. and Margaret Lomax Banks Community Park

Home to a 27 room house, this estate was crafted by Black entrepreneur Olander Banks Sr. 


From ice sales and real estate to taxi cabs and trucking, Olander Banks was a man of many trades and a true entrepreneur. He eventually found his calling in the auto parts business and opened a highly popular store in Alexandria, Virginia.

Banks married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret or “Margaree” as she was known to loved ones in 1941. They purchased the property on which the house and park now exist in 1957, and in 1961, they began construction on a large house with 27 rooms in which they raised their six sons and nine daughters.

Before his passing, Banks decided to honor his wife by sharing the estate with the local community. In 2001, the land was given to the Fairfax County Park Authority to develop as a place for recreation and contemplation.

The giving spirit of the Banks family lives on in this serene suburban sanctuary. 

Know Before You Go

A small gravel pull-off along Old Telegraph Road near the Banks Community Park sign provides a few parking spaces. 

The house is not presently open to visitors, but is interesting to explore from the outside. The expansive property is generally not heavily trafficked. There are a few picnic tables and a couple of grills near the parking lot perfect for hungry park patrons.

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June 10, 2021

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