|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
At a Glance
Scope and Contents
The collection includes 5 letters (William Wesley Peters to Jerry Damon and Edwood Doudt, 1/21/1960; Jerry Damon to David Green at The American Weekley, 2/4/1961; Senator Edmund S. Muskie to Damon, Doudt Corporation, 9/25/1962; General Services Administration to H. Jerome d'Amato, 2/8/1963; H. Jermone d'Amato to General Services Administration, 4/26/1963). Copy of Senator Muskie's Statements to the Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the Disposition of Ellis Island, September 26, 1962. Study Report on Ellis Island by The National Parks Service for the Senate Committee on Government Operations, June 1964. Proposal booklet for The Key Project for Ellis Island produced by Damon, Doudt Corporation, undated. 1 color transparency and 12 black and white photographic prints of architectural drawings of the "Key Project" by the Taliesin Associated Architects, ca. 1961. 1 press photograph of Ellis Island, 1947.
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. A file listing is available for the collection. To request this list and to make an appointment, or for any for further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original architectural drawings for the Key Project for Ellis Island can be found in the Taliesin Associated Architects architectural drawings and records, 1959-1991; part of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by Gabrielle (d'Amato) Crum in 2021 (2021.004).
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
In 1955, a year after the immigration station at Ellis Island closed, the General Services Agency took control of Ellis Island and began the process of attempting to sell the island as a surplus property of the United States government. In 1959, two NBC radio and television executives, Elwood M. Doudt and Jerry Damon, approached American architect Frank Lloyd Wright hoping to commission Wright to develop plans for the future utilization of the island. Wright was interested in the commission but died on April 9, 1959 before he could meet with Doudt and Damon. The Taliesin Associated Architects (TAA), the firm founded by Wright's apprentices after the architect's death, were hired by the Damon, Doudt Corporation to complete designs based on Wright's architectural concepts for the redevelopment of Ellis Island. The project was named the "Key Project for Ellis Island" and was envisioned as a "vacation city" with 2,500 apartments, 500 hotel rooms, a marina, shops and nightclub, as well as a museum, schools, and houses of worship. The Taliesin Associated Architects completed plans for the project, which the Damon, Doudt Corporation submitted in their 1962 bid to the General Services Administration along with a $2,100,000 offer to purchase the island. By 1964, plans to sell Ellis Island as a "surplus property" were abandoned in favor of making Ellis Island a national monument.
H. Jerome d'Amato (1927-1979) was a radio and television announcer for NBC. He was president of the Damon, Doudt Corporation during their bid to purchase Ellis Island.