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Sun, 05.17.1885

Vertner Woodson Tandy, Architect born

Vertner Woodson Tandy

*Vertner Woodson Tandy was born on this date in 1885. He was a Black architect.

He was born in Lexington, Kentucky. His parents were Henry A. Tandy and Emma Brice Tandy. Henry Tandy was a successful entrepreneur and building contractor. In 1904 young Tandy attended Tuskegee Institute studying architectural drawing. In 1905 he transferred to Cornell University, where he graduated in 1907 with a degree in architecture. He was one of the seven founders (commonly referred to as "The Seven Jewels") of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell University in 1906.

After graduation, Tandy and George Washington Foster started their firm, Tandy & Foster, with offices on Broadway in New York City. Tandy became the State of New York's first registered black architect. Tandy's most famous commission was probably Villa Lewaro, the $250,000 mansion for the daughter of the Harlem millionairess Madam C. J. Walker, in Irvington on Hudson, New York. The Italianate-style mansion was completed in 1918 and became important in the Harlem Renaissance before Walker's death.

Among his other extant work are the Ivey Delph Apartments and St. Philip's Episcopal Church at 204 West 134th Street in Harlem. The Ivey Delph Apartments, designed in 1948, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Tandy was the first black to pass the military commissioning examination and was commissioned First Lieutenant in the 15th Infantry of the New York State National Guard. Vertner W. Tandy died of pneumonia on November 7, 1949, aged 64, in Manhattan, New York City.

To Become an Architect


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