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[graphic] Ivey Delph Apartments
[photo]
Ivey Delph Apartments, in the center of this photograph
Photograph by Mary Dierickx, courtesy of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The Ivey Delph Apartments at 19 Hamilton Terrace, in New York, were built as a pioneering housing project for African Americans. It was the first large-scale project by and for African Americans in New York backed by a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage commitment. Well-known tenants were dancer Marilyn Keets, Buck Clayton, composer and trumpeter with the Count Basie orchestra, and Ted Sturgis, the prolific bass player who played with Louis Armstrong and many others.



Moderne-style Ivey Delph Apartments
Photograph by Mary Dierickx, courtesy of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Dr. Walter Ivey Delph, a prominent Harlem doctor, was also a real estate investor in New York City and Long Island who was actively concerned that poor housing produced bad health. Along with his wife he developed the Ivey Delph Apartments as a healthy living environment for African Americans. Delph was honored by the Urban League of New York in 1950 for his contributions to improving housing opportunities, particularly for African Americans. He died in 1960 at the age of 65.

Designed in 1948 by Vertner Tandy, the first African American to be licensed as an architect in New York, the modestly stylish apartment building embodies the characteristics of the mid-20th century Moderne style. A six-story, three-bay beige brick building embellished with central curving projecting balconies, the Ivey Delph Apartments were completed in 1951. The building retains a high degree of historic integrity, displaying very few changes since its construction.

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Newspaper headline for Ivey Delph apartment project
Photograph courtesy of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Vertner Woodson Tandy (1885-1949) was born in Lexington, Kentucky and studied at the Tuskegee Institute and graduated from the Cornell School of Architecture in about 1908. He was the first black architect registered in New York. Along with fellow black architect, George W. Foster (1866-1923), Tandy helped design the landmark St. Philips Church in Harlem in 1910-11. Tandy later went into business by himself, and was the architect for Madame C.J. Walker, who started a beauty products company for black women and became a millionaire. The Ivey Delph Apartments were one of Tandy's last designs, and he died in November 1949 before its completion.

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