November 7th in African American History – Vertner Woodson Tandy

Vertner Woodson Tandy

Vertner Woodson Tandy

November 7, 1949 Vertner Woodson Tandy, architect and one of the founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, died.

Tandy was born May 17, 1885 in Lexington, Kentucky. While attending Cornell University, in 1906 Tandy was one of the seven founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the first African American Greek letter fraternity. Tandy earned his degree in architecture from Cornell in1909 and became the State of New York’s first registered black architect.

Tandy’s most famous commission was Villa Lewaro, the mansion of millionaire Madam C.J. Walker. Other works include the Ivey Delph Apartments and St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church. Tandy was also the first African American to pass the military commissioning examination and was commissioned first lieutenant in the New York State National Guard.

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