crown CU Home > Libraries Home
Columbia University Libraries Archival CollectionsAvery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Percy and Harold D. Uris papers, 1901-2003

Download and Print CitationContact Bookmark Share

Preferred Citation

Percy and Harold D. Uris papers. Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Avery ID:D&A Uris View CLIO record
Creator(s):Uris, Percy, 1899-1971.
Title:Percy and Harold D. Uris papers, 1901-2003
Physical description:277.5 linear feet papers; 1353 drawings : (277 archives boxes, 1 portfolio box, and 76 rolls)
Language(s): In English.
Access: This collection is restricted according to the terms of its donation. Researchers wishing to consult or publish material from it must first apply in writing to the Curator, Avery Library Department of Drawings & Archives, who will seek the appropriate permission. Confidential employee materials in Boxes 256 to 277 are restricted until January 1, 2080. The bulk of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and will be retrieved with advance notification only. For further information about obtaining permission and to make an appointment to view the collection, please send an email to  More information »
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection:Correspondence, typescript papers, carbon typescript papers, holograph papers, printed papers, photographic prints, film negatives, photographic transparencies, architectural reprographic prints, mixed media drawings, maps, and microfiche .

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

 This collection is restricted according to the terms of its donation. Researchers wishing to consult or publish material from it must first apply in writing to the Curator, Avery Library Department of Drawings & Archives, who will seek the appropriate permission. Confidential employee materials in Boxes 256 to 277 are restricted until January 1, 2080. The bulk of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and will be retrieved with advance notification only. For further information about obtaining permission and to make an appointment to view the collection, please send an email to avery-drawings@libraries.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. Dept. 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..

Selected Bibliography

Shachtman, Tom. Skyscraper Dreams: The Great Real Estate Dynasties of New York . Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991.

For Further Information

For more information about using the collections and conducting research in the Department of Drawings & Archives, please see our FAQ.

Return to top

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Finding aid written by Bridget T. Lerette, Project Archivist, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University

Processing Information

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

EAD instance created from Excel spreadsheets and MS Word document by Annemarie van Roessel, Archivist, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, January 2007. Finding aid written in English.
    2007-01-23 File created.
    2009-07-08 File revised.

CLIO ID: 6033444 View CLIO record

Return to top

Index Terms

The names and terms listed below are represented 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 consortial/union catalog offered by OCLC that allows users to search the holdings of multiple archives and libraries.

All links open new windows.

Subjects (Personal Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Copland, Milton.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Uris, Joanne, 1900-1985.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Uris, Ruth Chinitz, 1909-1996.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Buildings)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
300 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
320 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
350 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
380 Madison Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
45 East 49th Street (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
48 East 50th Street (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
485 Lexington Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
488 Lexington Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
49 East 49th Street (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
505 Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
575 Madison Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
750 Third Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
880 Fifth Avenue (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Graduate School of Business.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Uris Hall.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Court Square Building (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fairgrounds Shopping Center (Ithaca, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
One University Place (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Two Sutton Place South (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Corporate Bodies)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Carson & Lundin.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Colgate-Palmolive Company.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Emery Roth & Sons.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Irving Trust Company.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
National Cleaning Contractors, Inc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Uris Buildings Corporation.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Uris Brothers Foundation, Inc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Topics

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Architecture, Modern--20th century--New York (N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Family corporations--New York (State)--New York--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Real estate development--New York (State)--New York--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Real estate developers--New York (State)--New York.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Material Types

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

Return to top

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.

Return to top