Vertner Woodson Tandy bigraphy, stories - American architect

Vertner Woodson Tandy : biography

May 17, 1885 - November 7, 1949

Vertner Woodson Tandy (May 17, 1885 – November 7, 1949) was one of the seven founders (commonly referred to as The Seven Jewels) of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell University in 1906. Before transferring to Cornell, Vertner studied architecture at Tuskegee University. He was the first black registered architect in New York State.

He was first treasurer of the Alpha chapter and the designer of the fraternity pin. The Fraternity became incorporated under his auspices.

As a graduate of Cornell with a degree in architecture, he would become the State of New York’s first registered black architect, with offices on Broadway in New York City.

Tandy's most famous commission was probably Villa Lewaro, the mansion of Harlem millionairess Madam C.J. Walker, in Irvington on Hudson, New York. Among his other extant work are the Ivey Delph Apartments, and St. Philip's Episcopal Church at 204 West 134th Street in Harlem, through his architectural firm of Tandy & Foster. The Ivey Delph Apartments, designed in 1948, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Tandy also holds the distinction of being the first African-American 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 in 1949, at age 64 of pneumonia.

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