Dr. Robert Walker Johnson House and Tennis Court

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Dr. Robert Walker Johnson House and Tennis Court

Dr. Robert Walter Johnson House and Tennis Court is a historic building located in Lynchburg, Virginia, that was built in 1911 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Dr. Robert Walter Johnson (1899-1971) was a Lynchburg physician, the first minority doctor in the entire city to be granted practice rights at the Lynchburg General Hospital. In addition to his work, Dr. Johnson was a successful trainer for promising African-American tennis players. His American Foursquare style home, built in 1911, includes an adjacent tennis court on the lot next door.

A successful college athlete, Johnson used his athletic skill and personal funds to found the Junior Development Program of the American Tennis Association during the 1950s. Stressing sportsmanship and discipline, Johnson trained stars such as Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the first African-Americans to ever win at Wimbledon.

The house was also offered as lodging to distinguished African-Americans passing through the city, as blacks were usually denied occupancy from hotels. Guests included the famed Duke Ellington, Jackie Robinson, Lionel Hampton, and Roy Campanella.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com