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Olive Tjaden, pioneering architect who designed more than 400 Garden City, L.I., homes, dies at 92

Olive Tjaden, a pioneering architect who supervised the design of more than 400 homes from the 1920s to the 1940s in Garden City, Long Island, including many of that community's grand mansions, died March 15, 1997, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She was 92.

Tjaden, who for many years was the only woman member of the American Institute of Architects, was considered the most prominent woman architect in the Northeast for more than two decades.

Tjaden's extensive work on Long Island was such that the mayor of Garden City once suggested that the town be renamed Tjaden City in her honor. Tjaden also designed churches and commercial buildings.

In addition to her own practice, Tjaden served as an inspector for the Federal Housing Administration and as member of the Board of Ethics for Architects for New York State.

She left the New York City area in 1945 for Florida, where she continued her work, this time designing garden apartments. She also served as program director and member of the board for the Museum of Fine Arts in Fort Lauderdale.

Tjaden earned a bachelor's degree in architecture in 1925 from Cornell University. She was 15 years old when she was admitted to Cornell, and she completed her studies in architecture in four years, rather than the conventional five years. In 1981 Cornell named the building housing part of its College of Architecture, Art and Planning in her honor.

Tjaden was predeceased by her husband, Roswell Van Sickle. There are no immediate survivors.

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