Vibrant. Historic. Charming.

There is a parallel renaissance taking place on either side of the Chemung River.

Our Story

The Gaffer District exists to create experiences.

Whether you come to experience our unique shops, award-winning restaurants, world-renowned museums, or our vibrant art scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

The Gaffer District’s story is one of resiliency. Our roots trace back to 1974 when the Market Street Restoration Agency was formed as a strategic initiative to restore our historic downtown after the flood of 1972. By the 1980s, other local agencies joined together to continue to revitalize the downtown and create what the Gaffer District is today. Now existing for over 30 years, our downtown marketing organization has truly stood the test of time. 

Today, with over 250 businesses, multiple galleries and museums, and a full schedule of annual events and live music held throughout the year, there is never a dull moment in our vibrant, historic, and charming downtown.

Our Mission

To enhance the overall economic vitality, community character, and physical sustainability of Corning’s Downtown via the collaboration of public and private stakeholders.

Our Values

  • Independent Spirit (Ingenuity)
  • Diversity
  • Authenticity 
  • Resilience
  • Experience First 
  • Celebrate Small

Equity Statement

As a destination that is an extraordinary mosaic of cultures, Corning’s Gaffer District strives to create an environment where all people feel welcome and included. We will always uphold the fundamental beliefs of respect, equity, inclusion, collaboration, creative freedom, and hospitality.
As a destination marketing organization that welcomes visitors from around the world, we believe in equal and fair treatment for everyone, regardless of ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, political viewpoint, socioeconomic background, or religious belief. 
From old to young, black to white, artsy to techy, the fabric of our community is wonderfully designed. We take great pride in knowing that our destination creates choice and instills confidence in everyone, empowering them to seek and share new experiences while making this an ideal place to live, work, and visit.