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Olive Tjaden VanSickle, distinguished alumna of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell, began her career with a Long Island architect and later opened her own firm. She designed more than 2,000 buildings during 20 years of practice in New York, including her own home in Garden City, Long Island. In 1945 she moved to Florida and participated in the extensive development there. Now retired, she lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Tjaden's work includes a number of large estates on Long Island and in upstate New York, churches, and commercial buildings. In Florida, she continued her work as an architect of residential garden apartments.

At one time in her career, Tjaden was the only woman member of the American Institute of Architects. Among her other professional activities, she was an inspector for the Federal Housing Administration and program director for the Museum of Fine Arts in Fort Lauderdale.

Tjaden Hall (formerly Franklin Hall), on the Cornell University campus, was renamed in her honor in 1980.