Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

H. Jerome d'Amato records on the Key Project for Ellis Island, 1947-1964, bulk 1960-1964

Summary Information

Abstract

This small collection documents the Damon, Doudt Corporation's offer to purchase Ellis Island from the United States Government and to redevelop the site with architectural plans envisioned by Frank Lloyd Wright and executed by the Taliesin Associated Architects after Wright's death in 1959.

At a Glance

Bib ID 15679654 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Damon, Doudt Corporation ; d'Amato, H. Jerome
Title H. Jerome d'Amato records on the Key Project for Ellis Island, 1947-1964, bulk 1960-1964
Physical Description 0.20 linear feet
Language(s) English .
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 avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Description

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 avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Related Materials

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

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Ellis Island Immigration Station (N.Y. and N.J.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Historic sites -- Ellis Island (N.J. and N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Historic sites -- New York (State) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Surplus government property -- Ellis Island (N.J. and N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Surplus government property -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Taliesin Associated Architects Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Unbuilt architectural projects Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States. General Services Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

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.