Villa Lewaro on North Broadway at Fargo Lane in Irvington, New York was the home of Madam C. J. Walker, America's first female millionaire. An African American woman, she made her fortune by developing a line of hair care products, creating a company with 20,000 sales agents, and by investing in real estate. In 1917, Madam Walker had a $250,000 country home built in Irvington designed by Vertner Woodson Tandy, the first registered African-American architect in New York State. She wanted the home to be an example for her people, "to see what could be accomplished, no matter what their background." The name Villa Lewaro was coined by 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. A'Lelia Walker inherited the house, and occupied it until her death in 1931, when it was bequeathed to the NAACP which opted to take the proceeds from the sale of the house rather than assume the cost of taxes and upkeep during the Great Depression. The house became the Annie E. Poth Home, a retirement home for seniors operated by the Companions of the Forest, until the 1970s. The neo-Palladian-style mansion still stands today, and is again a private residence. Villa Lewaro is a National Historic Landmark.
Media in category "Villa Lewaro"
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