Frank Lloyd Wright/TAA drawing of Key Project for Ellis Island. Credit: The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)
Ellis Island, well known as the processing center for millions of American immigrants until 1954, has figured heavily in the nation’s history; once the center was closed and neither of its current owners, the states of New York and New Jersey, knew of an alternative for its re-use, the island was offered for sale. Among the bidders for the 27-acre site were a pair of young NBC executives whose idea included breathtaking plans conceived by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright. According to Metropolis, Wright’s idea supported the media execs’ vision for “an entirely new, complete, and independent prototype city of the future.”
So what happened?
Photo via Wiki Commons
Sorry, New York. Ellis Island, America’s first and biggest immigration center, technically belongs to New Jersey. In May of 1998, the Supreme Court ended a long-standing argument between New Jersey and the Empire State over who actually owns the Island, as Smithsonian Magazine discovered. Based on a land claims agreement between the two states made before Ellis Island became a gateway for nearly 12 million immigrants, the Court decided it belonged mostly to New Jersey, in addition to the federal government, since it’s overseen by the National Park Service.
But it wasn’t so easy
Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top art, design and architecture event picks for 6sqft readers!
Take advantage of this long weekend to get outside and enjoy the city. Sign up for a free walking tour of Central Park or Bryant Park, or head to Washington Square Park for the 82nd year of the Outdoor Art Exhibit. If adventure is your thing, ferry over to Governors Island for their new zip line adventure, or take the boat to Ellis Island for Untapped Cities’ insiders’ tour. Check out a sculpture by the Strokes’ Fabrizio Moretti at the beautiful Elizabeth Street Garden, or role play with Ryohei Kawanishi at the Museum of Arts and Design. Finally, treat yourself to a free concert by the New York Philharmonic, inside the history St. John the Divine Cathedral on Memorial Day.
Details on these events and more this way
Modern-day storytelling ranges from the age-old tradition of oration to the modern take of 140 characters. But what happens when the story is a mix of old and new and is intended for an audience that ranges from elementary school students to centenarians? That’s where ESI Design, a firm dedicated to enriching the human experience, steps in. ESI was founded in 1977 by Edwin Schlossberg. Their unique focus on melding traditional techniques with modern technology made them the perfect fit to design the recently launched Peopling of America Center at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.
The center–conceived with the vision and support of the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation and its president Stephen Briganti and the National Parks Service–highlights journeys undertaken before Ellis Island opened in 1892 with “Journeys: The Peopling of America – 1550s-1890,” which opened in 2011. On May 20th, another wing called “The Journey: New Eras of Immigration” opened to give visitors the chance to look at immigration that took place after Ellis Island closed in 1954.
One of the visionaries at ESI is senior designer of media and technology Michael Schneider. For the Peopling of America Center, he was responsible for figuring out which of the available technologies worked best for the new exhibits and their audience. We recently spoke with Michael to learn how ESI approaches storytelling and, specifically, how the firm designed the galleries for the Peopling of America Center.
Read our interview with Michael here
Every day Lady Liberty stands tall holding high her torch in celebration of our nation’s freedom. Since today is Miss Liberty’s 128th birthday, we thought it would only be appropriate to take some time out of our busy schedules to return the favor. Join us for a brief look back at some of Miss Liberty’s most notable moments throughout history. Happy birthday Lady Liberty, and here we go!
Fun facts on Miss Liberty here
- A New Look at Liberty Island: On Wednesday, the New York Times followed a Google team as they documented the island with their 40-pound Google Trekker. You can see fun photos of the jaunt on their site.
- A Bronx Renaissance: Untapped Cities highlights the five most important projects in the pipeline for NYC’s northernmost borough.
- Celebs Love the Lowline: James Ramsey and Dan Barasch are getting more support to turn the abandoned trolly station below Delancey Street into an underground park. According to the Lo-Down, Lena Dunham and Spike Jonze have just signed on to host the Low Line’s annual “anti-gala” in October.
- Lyft Launches Tonight in New York: After hitting more than a few speed bumps in the road, regulators are giving Lyft the green light, but not without concessions. The Verge has more on the deal struck.
A Google Maps trekker, image © Michael Appleton/NYT (left); A branded Lyft vehicle (right)