5. The Architects of the Building Also Designed Ellis Island

The Sailors’ Home and Institute was designed by architect William Alciphron Boring of the firm Boring & Tilton. While Boring  worked at McKim, Mead & White, he met his future business partner Edward Lippincott Tilton. Boring had been studying at Columbia University, but continued his studies alongside Tilton at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1897, the firm won the commission to design the first phase of buildings on Ellis Island for the U.S. Immigration station. Their buildings include the main building, the kitchen and laundry building, the main powerhouse, the main hospital building, and an incinerator that has since been demolished.

Boring was well-respected in architecture circles and was the founder and first president of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects, founder of the American School of Architecture in Rome (which became part of the American Academy), vice president of the American Institute of Architects, president of the Architectural League, and the first dean of Columbia University’s school of architecture (later Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation).