Ellis Island -Evelyn Hill Inc.
Acheson Doyle Partners’ projects at Ellis Island for the National Park Service’s Concessionaire, Evelyn Hill Inc, included the renovation of the Café and Dining Room in the Main Building, and the design of a new glass and metal Canopy over a terrace outside of the Café. New finishes, food services areas and lighting were selected for the Café so that the finished space looks contextual without leaving the visitor with the impression that an original room in the building was being recreated. Finishes in the Café were carried over into the Dining Room; the focus in this room are the reproductions of portions of historic murals that had once hung in the main hall now hung on these walls.
The Canopy was designed to have minimal impact to the visitor’s perception of the historic Main Building. Constructed of structural glazing and thin, powder-coated steel columns and horizontal framing, the Canopy was to be self-supporting, built on top of the existing terrace. Recognizing that the view towards the Main Building from the passenger ferries is iconic, the scale and the color palette of the proposed Canopy were carefully considered so that it would appear virtually invisible to the visitor approaching the island. The steel structure was to be light colored to match the white limestone of the existing building; the clear glass would be non-reflective. The project received approval from the National Park Service, and the State Historic Preservation Offices of New York and New Jersey in 2009. It was in production when Hurricane Sandy struck the island in 2012. With the severe damage to the buildings at Ellis Island and an unknown reopening date, the National Park Service and Evelyn Hill Inc decided not to proceed with the project.