Villa Lewaro was the stately home of America’s first black female millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker.
Walker commissioned Vertner Tandy, the first registered black architect, to build the Italian Renaissance style estate so that black Americans could “see what could be accomplished, no matter what their background.” The mansion was constructed during 1916-1918 at an estimated cost of $250,000 (a fortune at the time). Madame Walker lived in the home from 1918 until her death in 1919. Her daughter, A’lelia Walker, inherited the estate and lived there until she died in 1931.
Located in Irvington, New York, Villa Lewaro is a private residence today and is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Photo: VIEW OF EAST ELEVATION - Villa Lewaro, North Broadway, Irvington, Westchester County, NY; Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey