The Irvington Historical Society
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131 Main Street, PO BOX 23, Irvington, NY 10533     Phone: (914) 591-1020

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VILLA LEWARO
National Register of Historic Places, 1976


     Echoes of Roman splendor can be found in this Broadway mansion, completed in 1918 for Madame C. J. Walker. Born  in the Midwest as Sarah Breedlove, Walker became wealthy as the inventor of an anti-kink hair lotion. Her fortune from hair care products was such that she was said to be the wealthiest black woman in the United States in the early 20th century. By 1916, Walker relocated to Harlem to be at the center of the fashionable African American community there. Not long after moving to the east coast, Walker hired black architect Vertner Woodson Tandy to design the 30-room white stucco mansion with tiled roof at Irvington. The home was named Villa Lewaro for Walker's daughter, A'Lelia Walker Robinson, as an anagram from two letters of each name. Madame Walker didn't spend much time at Irvington, as she died in 1919. A'Lelia Robinson owned the house until her death in 1931, at which point Villa Lewaro became as retirement home for seniors, a purpose the home served until the 1970s. Villa Lewaro is again a single family private residence.


Please respect private property

The buildings, structures, objects and sites documented in the National Register and found on this site have been identified as significant cultural resources in the State of New York. They represent both individual history as well as the collective history of the people of our state. This property is privately owned and is not accessible to the public. Therefore we ask that you please respect the owner's right to privacy. (Adapted from New York State Historic Preservation Office State and National Registers of Historic Places Web Page)