Tandy, Vertner Woodson – Architect


The Vertner Woodson Tandy mug is part of a biographical series profiling unique individuals who shaped the history of the United States.  An image of Vertner Woodson Tandy and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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Vertner Woodson Tandy studied architectural drawing at Tuskegee Institute. In 1907 he graduated with a degree in architecture from Cornell University.  He was a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell. Tandy became the first African American to be a registered architect in the state of New York.  He is known for several distinctive buildings that are on the National Register of  Historic Places.  Pictured on this mug is his design of Madam C.J. Walker’s townhouse in New York City.

Villa Lewaro

Enrico Caruso suggested to Madam C.J. Walker that she use the first two initials of her daughter’s three names, Lelia Robinson Walker, to name her residence Villa Lewaro.  It is one of Vertner Woodson Tandy’s signature achievements and designated as a National Treasure.  Built between 1916-1918 the 34-room house was used by Walker as a place to discuss race relations, promote the Harlem Renaissance, and entertain friends including, W.E.B. Dubois and Langston Hughes.  Lelia, who changed her name to A’Lelia, inherited the estate when her mother died in 1919, and left it to the NAACP in her will, it is now a private residence.

This Vertner Woodson Tandy History Mug is part of our biographical series which includes many unique individuals who played an important part in molding our U.S. history.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.

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