Villa Lewaro

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Villa Lewaro
Villa-lewaro crop.jpg
(2007)
Villa Lewaro is located in New York
Villa Lewaro
Location North Broadway, Irvington, New York
Coordinates 41°2′35.2″N 73°51′50″W / 41.043111°N 73.86389°W / 41.043111; -73.86389Coordinates: 41°2′35.2″N 73°51′50″W / 41.043111°N 73.86389°W / 41.043111; -73.86389
Built 1916-1918
Architect Vertner Tandy
Architectural style Italian Renaissance
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 76001289[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 11, 1976[1]
Designated NHL May 11, 1976[2]

Villa Lewaro, formerly known as the Anne E. Poth Home, is located at Fargo Lane and North Broadway (US 9) in Irvington, New York. It was the home of Madam C. J. Walker from 1918 to 1919. She is believed to be the first American female and first African-American female, self-made millionaire. The mansion is an Italianate villa house designed for Walker by Vertner Tandy, the first registered African-American architect, and has been considered to be one of his greatest works. It was constructed during 1916-1918 at an estimated cost of $250,000, and was furnished lavishly. The name Villa Lewaro was coined by a distinguished visitor, Enrico Caruso, from the first two letters of each word in Lelia Walker Robinson, the name of her daughter, who later went by the name of A'Lelia Walker.

The home was used as a conference center on race relations issues. Walker died there in 1919; the house was inherited by her daughter A'Lelia Walker who owned it until she herself died in 1931. It then became the Anne E. Poth Home for Convalescent and Aged Members of the Companions of the Forest in America.[3] The house became a National Historic Landmark in 1976,[2][4] and has been a private residence since the mid-1980s.

In 1993, Villa Lewaro was purchased by Harold Doley, founder of Doley Securities, LLC, the oldest African-American-owned and operated investment banking firm in the United States. Doley has hoped to attract investors to help turn the residence into a museum.[5] During 1998 it was a designer show house benefiting the United Negro College Fund.

In May 2014, the National Trust for Historic Preservation began a project with the active support of Doley, which it called "Envisioning Villa Lewaro's Future", to determine the appropriate re-use of the mansion, which was becoming available for purchase. Three scenarios were selected by a workshop organized by the Trust: a spa and salon, a "Center for Innovation in Technology", and a corporate events venue, while a fourth – continued residential use – was suggested by the Trust afterwards; other scenarios were rejected by the workshop, although the Trust recommended that one – a cultural arts performance venue – be reconsidered.[6] Others have suggested that the mansion be used as a center for information about Madame Walker and Vertner Tandy, the architect.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Villa Lewaro". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-21. 
  3. ^ Adams, Arthur G. The Hudson River Guidebook (1996) ISBN 0-8232-1202-5.
  4. ^ Graves, Lynne Gomez. (October 30, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Villa Lewaro" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 2 photos, exterior, from 1974. PDF (1.24 MB)
  5. ^ Ferris, Marc (May 17, 2011). "Historic Rivertowns House No Longer for Sale: Villa Lewaro, Once Up for sale Was Taken Off the Market". Rivertowns Patch. Patch. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Leggs, Brent. Envisioning Villa Lewaro's Future National Trust for Historic Preservation (2014)
  7. ^ National Trust for Historic Preservation "'A Sort of Monument': Why Villa Lewaro Is More Than a Building" Huffington Post (October 23, 2014)
Bibliography
  • Bundles, A'Lelia P. On Her Own Ground: the Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker. 2001

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