Phelps Construction Group begins Ellis Island Museum renovations

Phelps Construction Group, a full-service construction management firm, has begun renovations to the National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island in New York harbor.

Boonton-based Phelps Construction Group said it recently began renovations to the National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island in New York harbor, a project for the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, working in partnership with the National Park Service.

Phelps was selected by the foundation as the construction manager during the early stages of the project. Working alongside the architect, Highland Architects, and the exhibit designer, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Phelps has played a vital role in the design development, determining how to bring the museum up to current standards while preserving the historic fabric of this national monument.

The phased renovations to the 137,000-square-foot museum encompass the Main Immigration Building and the Kitchen and Laundry Building. The project entails updating and creating new exhibits, performing ADA upgrades to public restrooms and upgrading the mechanical and life safety systems. Using its experience in working on historic structures, working along with the architect, structural engineer and the National Park Service, Phelps also will perform structural changes with minimal impact to the buildings.

When complete, the museum will enhance the visitor experience, offering engaging exhibits covering three eras: 1790-1880 (3rd floor), 1880-1945 (2nd floor) and 1945-present (1st floor). Renovations are expected to be completed in 2026.

“We are very proud to have been chosen by our repeat customer, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, for this project, and are honored to again be part of transforming this historic landmark,” Douglas Phelps, president of Phelps Construction Group, said.

Phelps previously performed renovations to the same museum in the early 2010s, constructing an expansion and completing major structural changes to Ellis Island’s Kitchen and Laundry Building, which added new exhibit space.