Skip to main content

Toombs, Amisano, and Wells Records

Identifier: DM006

  • Staff Only


This collection contains public relations materials, project files, printed matter, and awards of the architectural firm of Toombs, Amisano, and Wells.


  • 1941-2003 (bulk dates 1962-1997)


General Physical Description note

(9 document cases, 1 half-size document case, 15 oversize boxes, and 3 oversize folders)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


16 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

Series 1 consists mainly of public relations brochures and marketing instruments for Toombs, Amisano, and Wells, as well as two newspaper articles on Joseph Amisano's professional life in the firm of Toombs, Amisano, and Wells. Series 2, Project Files, contains files on several of the firm's architectural projects. General office files, including articles and correspondence related to architecture and city planning, are found in Series 3. Series 4 is a collection of publications on various topics in architecture and city planning, some of which cover projects undertaken by Toombs, Amisano, and Wells. Series 5 includes certificates and plaques for awards won by the firm, or by Joseph Amisano individually.

Administrative History of Toombs, Amisano, and Wells

Formed in about 1955, the Atlanta architectural firm of Toombs, Amisano, and Wells created numerous Atlanta landmarks of the 1960s through the 1980s, including the original Lenox Square shopping mall, Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Peachtree Center MARTA station, Fernbank Science Center, and many other buildings. The architects were also responsible for a number of important buildings in other locations in the Southeast, such as science and laboratory buildings at the University of Georgia, the Omni International in Miami, and Norfolk Gardens in Norfolk, Virginia.

The founding member of the firm, Henry Johnston Toombs, was born in Cuthbert, Georgia on January 3, 1896. Toombs attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served in World War I before beginning a career in architecture. After receiving a B.S. (1921) and M.A. (1923) in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, he worked briefly for the New York architectural firm of McKin, Mead, and White. In about 1926, he began independent work for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who eventually hired him to design and build the complex of buildings that was to become the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. Toombs opened offices in Warm Springs and Atlanta in 1937. The partnership of Toombs and Creighton formed in 1946 and dissolved three years later. In 1949, Toombs formed Toombs and Company, which was soon to become Toombs and Wells. Joseph Amisano became a partner in the firm in 1955. Toombs died in 1967.

James Edwin Wells, who was born in Zebulon, Georgia, on September 23, 1908, was a 1930 graduate in Architecture at the Georgia School of Technology. In 1937, he joined Toombs' firm and continued to work there, except for a brief period during World War II, until his retirement in 1974.

Joseph Amisano was born January 10, 1917 in the Bronx, NY to parents Ernesto Amisano and Mariucia Ferraris Amisano. Amisano studied at the Pratt Institute, where he received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Architecture in 1940 and 1941, respectively. After graduating he worked in the Manhattan firms of Sanders and Breck, and Harrison, Abramowitz and Fouilhoux. In 1942 he also had the opportunity to take part in the airport development program of Pan American Airways, which took him to Panama and Brazil, where he first encountered the built work of Oscar Niemeyer. As a winner of the prestigious Rome Prize in 1950, Amisano spent two years studying architecture and traveling throughout Europe. In 1954, he joined the partnership of Toombs and Wells in Atlanta; he became a partner in the firm in the following year. The Lenox Square Shopping Center created by the firm, with its original open-air arcade, immediately became a major Atlanta landmark on its completion in 1959. The firm went on to design such notable buildings as the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia (1962), the Fernbank Science Center (1963-1965), the John Knox Church (1964-1965), the Federal Reserve Bank (early 1960s), the Peachtree Summit Building (1975-1978), Peachtree Center MARTA Station (1975-1982), Woodruff Library-Atlanta University Center (early 1980s), and the Second Church of Christ, Scientist (1984-1986). Amisano was married to Rosellen Amisano for 42 years. He died on April 12, 2008 after a long illness.


The collection has been divided into four series, the last of which is further divided into subseries.

Missing Title

  1. SERIES 1. Public relations materials
  2. SERIES 2. Project files
  3. SERIES 3. General office files
  4. SERIES 4. Publications
  5. SERIES 5. Awards

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available on request in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


Donation, 2010 (accession number 2010.062).

Related Materials

See also the Henry J. Toombs Papers located at the Georgia Archives.

Separated Material

The photographs, slides, drawings, and other visual materials have been separated and will be processed as DV006.

General Physical Description note

(9 document cases, 1 half-size document case, 15 oversize boxes, and 3 oversize folders)

Processing Information

Christine de Catanzaro processed these papers in August 2014, with assistance from Travis Hampton and Germaine Schanzmeyer.

Inventory of the Toombs, Amisano, and Wells Records, 1941-2003 (bulk dates 1962-1997)
Christine de Catanzaro
Copyright August 2014.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA