Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Percy and Harold D. Uris papers, 1901-2003

Summary Information

At a Glance

Bib ID 6033444 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Uris, Percy, 1899-1971 ; Uris, Harold D., 1905-1982
Title Percy and Harold D. Uris papers, 1901-2003
Physical Description 277.5 linear feet papers; 1353 drawings
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. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This material is arranged in eleven series: Percy Uris; Joanne Uris; Harold D. Uris; Ruth Uris; 380 Madison Avenue; 300 Park Avenue; Other Uris Properties; Uris Buildings Corporation; Uris Corporations [Private]; Uris Brothers Foundation, Inc.; Other Materials. The arrangement of materials within each series is described at the beginning of each series description in the finding aid.

Description

Scope and Content

This collection primarily contains materials related to Percy and Harold Uris and their real estate businesses. Correspondence, financial records, and estate papers document the professional and personal lives of the brothers and their wives. The bulk of the business records are from their properties at 380 Madison Avenue and 300 Park Avenue. There is limited information about the other Uris properties and Uris Building Corporation. Finally, the collection contains records from the Uris Brothers Foundation, Inc about the family's philanthropic endeavors.

  • Series 1. Percy Uris, 1901-1984, undated

  • Series 2. Joanne Uris Papers, 1934-1988

    The series has correspondence, financial records, estate papers, and employee files about Joanne Uris. In the correspondence, there are discussions of her personal affairs and surroundings. Her personal finances, including assets, expenditures, taxes, are detailed in the bank accounts, bills, tax returns, and other fiscal documents. The papers concerning the disposition of her estate describe the execution of the will, settlement of estate expenses, asset distribution, and other legal issues. Also included are the insurance, payroll, and tax records related to the private employees of Joanne Uris and her subsequent estate.

  • Series 3. Harold D. Uris Descriptions, 1934-1995

    The series has correspondence, financial records, legal documents, estate papers, and domestic employee files generated by Harold D. Uris. In the correspondence, there is a mixture of professional and personal communications as well as photographs, press clippings, medical papers, and other materials. The correspondence is between Harold D. Uris and colleagues, family members, friends, business associates, politicians, and other individuals. The business correspondence describes Harold Uris's real estate development activities, membership in professional associations and committees, requests for employment assistance, building maintenance, tax preparation, and other administrative matters. In the personal correspondence with family and friends, the letters discuss leisure activities, residences in Florida, artwork, invitations, thank you notes, and best wishes. In additional to this correspondence, there are communications regarding charitable contributions to various public and private organizations. The financial records are comprised of investment account information, invoices, tax documents, bank statements, and ledgers. In the investment account files, there are reports, statements, correspondence, and other supporting documentation of Harold Uris's investments. The tax information concerns both income and gift tax returns for the Urises along with estimated payments, deductions, and accounting work sheets. Paid invoices, monthly bank statements, and bound ledgers give details about private expenditures and receipts. In legal papers, there are powers of attorney, stock certificates, wills, tax disputes, and other legal materials. The estate records document the management of Harold D. Uris's estate, including financial statements, correspondence, agreements, mortgage loan papers, and materials regarding the establishment of the Uris Education Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also included are employee files, tax documents, and unemployment insurance information about the Uris household employees.

  • Series 4. Ruth Uris Papers, 1954-1997

    The series has correspondence, financial records, employee payroll information, and other papers related to Ruth Uris. In the correspondence subseries, there are materials describing Mrs. Uris's personal interests, finances, and residential activities. The financial records detail her investments, individual expenses, tax issues, and other fiscal matters. Payroll tax records and related documents have to do with domestic staff under her employ. In addition, there are legal documents, insurance papers, and correspondence about her estate.

  • Series 5. 380 Madison Avenue, 1949-1996

    The series has administrative records, correspondence, financial records, construction files, and drawings. These documents portray the both the creation and subsequent commercial operation of 380 Madison Avenue by three successive corporate entities. The first was Uris Building, Inc., then Uris 380 Madison Corporation, and finally 380 Madison Uris Avenue, LLC. Within the administrative records, there are tenant files, Cross & Brown property statements, subject files, mortgage and loan records, and employee related files. The correspondence deals with the building management, financial matters, provided services, insurance, structure maintenance, corporate issues, and other business activities. In the financial records, there are general files, financial statements, paid bills, and bank account materials about fiscal matters. Both the construction records and drawings illustrate the building's design by Emery Roth & Sons and modification for tenants.

  • Series 6. 300 Park Avenue, 1942-1999

    This series contains administrative records, correspondence, financial records, construction files, and drawings. The documents generated by the four successive corporate entities managing the commercial property represent the initial project planning stages through the next forty years of operation. Park Avenue Offices, Inc. was the first administrative corporation, followed by Colcorn Company, Uris Holding Company, and finally 300 Park Avenue, LLC. Within the administrative records, there are tenant files, monthly property statements, subject files, mortgage and loan records, and employee related files for the property. Correspondence details the deal arranged to purchase the property, construction of the office building, business activities concerning to 300 Park Avenue, and everyday operations at the premises. In the financial records, there are general files, financial statements, paid bills, and bank account materials about fiscal matters. Both the construction records and drawings illustrate the building's design by Emery Roth & Sons and modification for tenants.

  • Series 7. Other Uris Properties, 1927-1996, undated

    This series contains the records of Uris Brothers properties that were sold before the incorporation in 1960 or were held privately by the family outside of the Uris Buildings Corporation. Residential apartment buildings, hotels, and commercial real estate projects are all represented in these documents. The series includes correspondence, management reports, legal papers, leases, mortgage agreements related to the purchase, financing, construction, and business operations of these properties. Also included are financial records, photographs, architect's renderings, plans, and other papers pertaining to the properties and the Urises overall real estate development. In addition, there are volumes of the Select Register of Apartment House Plans for New York's East Side as well as documents about few properties that can not be linked to the Uris Brothers business ventures.

  • Series 8. Uris Buildings Corporation, 1953-1989, undated

    The series contains limited information about the publicly held corporation and its real estate holdings. Included are the corporate records, financial records, correspondence, and other papers regarding the formation and operations of the firm. There are also records for the individual buildings constructed and owned by the Uris Buildings Corporation. These records consist primarily of leases, publicity materials, photographs, tenant correspondence, and financial reports.

  • Series 9. Uris Corporations (Private), 1930-1976

    Comprised of the documents generated by corporations not specifically related to a single Uris building. These corporation records include correspondence, financial documents, certificates, legal papers, and other materials regarding business operations. It also contains the construction records, including photographs, for various building projects completed by the Uris Brothers from 1920s into the 1960s.

  • Series 10. Uris Brothers Foundation, 1952-2003

    The series contains administrative records, correspondence, and financial records generated by the Uris Brothers Foundation. These documents describe the philanthropic activities of the foundation and administrative operations as well as its interaction with various charitable organizations. Responses to requests for funding, contribution vouchers, fiscal reports, and other information are included.

  • Series 11. Other Materials, 1952-1997

    In general, the papers in this series were either associated with multiple corporate entities or could not be matched with a specific building. The series contains administrative records, correspondence, legal documents, and financial records generated by the various businesses, buildings, and other interests operated by the Uris brothers.

Using the Collection

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Restrictions on Use

Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Preferred Citation

Percy and Harold D. Uris papers, 1901-2003, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Related Materials

The records of Emery Roth & Sons, the Uris Brothers' primary architect, are also held by Avery Library's Department of Drawings & Archives. For additional information, please see the findind aid for this collection..

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Bridget T. Lerette, Processing Archivist/Cataloger, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, 2004-2006.

Revision Description

2007-01-23 File created.

2009-07-08 File revised.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

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.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Architectural reprographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Carbon typescript papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Film negatives Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Holograph papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Maps Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mixed media drawings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Printed papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Typescript papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
300 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
320 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
350 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
380 Madison Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
45 East 49th Street (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
48 East 50th Street (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
485 Lexington Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
488 Lexington Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
49 East 49th Street (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
505 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
575 Madison Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
750 Third Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
880 Fifth Avenue (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- United States -- Designs and plans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Carson & Lundin Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Colgate-Palmolive Company Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Graduate School of Business Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Uris Hall Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Copland, Milton Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Court Square Building (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emery Roth & Sons Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fairgrounds Shopping Center (Ithaca, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Family corporations -- New York (State) -- New York -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Irving Trust Company Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
National Cleaning Contractors, Inc Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
One University Place (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Real estate developers -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Real estate development -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Two Sutton Place South (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Uris Brothers Foundation, Inc Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Uris Buildings Corporation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Uris, Joanne, 1900-1985 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Uris, Ruth Chinitz, 1909-1996 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Percy Uris was born on August 19, 1899, and his younger brother Harold D. Uris arrived on May 26, 1905. The sons of Harris Uris and Sadie (Copland) Uris were raised in New York City where their father had established a successful ornamental ironwork factory. Percy attended Columbia University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1920. After graduation, Percy and his father developed residential properties. Upon completing his degree in civil engineering at Cornell University, Harold joined the family in real estate development. In 1935, each brother married, Percy to Joanne Diotte and Harold to Ruth Chinitz. Their families maintained residences in Manhattan, Long Island, and Florida over the years.

After World War II, the Uris brothers focused on commercial properties and became profitable investment builders in New York City. Percy handled the financial side of the business, including the purchase of properties, negotiation of loans, sale of parcels, assembly of plots, financing, rental pricing, and calculation of profits while Harold was primarily involved with construction. Their commercial properties included: 380 Madison Avenue; 300 Park Avenue (Colgate-Palmolive Building); 488 Madison Avenue (Look Building); 575 Madison Avenue; 485 Lexington Avenue; 750 Third Avenue; 2 Broadway; 850 Third Avenue; 320 Park Avenue; 350 Park Avenue (Manufacturers Hanover Trust Building); 60 Broad Street; 1290 Avenue of the Americas (Sperry Rand Building); 1301 Avenue of the Americas; 245 Park Avenue; 111 Wall Street; 1633 Broadway; 10 East 53rd Street; and 55 Water Street. The Urises frequently employed the architectural firm of Emery Roth & Sons to design their buildings, including several of those listed above. In 1960, Percy and Harold organized Uris Buildings Corporation and it became a prominent investment builder. The brothers retained private ownership of four buildings: 380 Madison Avenue, 300 Park Avenue, 485 Lexington Avenue, and 750 Third Avenue.

Percy and Harold Uris were active alumni of their respective alma maters and generous philanthropists. They established the Uris Brothers Foundation, Inc. in 1956 to direct their donations to several charitable organizations and educational institutions. At Columbia, Percy served as a Trustee of the University, special advisor to the President for new construction, and was a member of several alumni councils and associations. The construction of Uris Hall, home to the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, was in large part funded by a $3 million donation from the Uris brothers. Harold was trustee for Cornell University, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the City Center for Music and Drama, Lenox Hill Hospital, the New York Building Congress, and the New York Committee of the American Cancer Society. Harold and Ruth also established an educational center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Two years after Percy Uris's death in 1971, the family's interest in Uris Buildings Corporation was sold to National Kinney Corporation. Harold Uris died on March 28, 1982 and the family appears to have retained ownership of the remaining office buildings until the late 1990s.