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Historic Downtown Corning Shone During National Preservation Month

Corning, NY—As the month of May came to a close so did National Preservation Month. Corning's downtown is known for its rich history of glass and glassmaking, beautiful brick sidewalks, historic architectural preservation, and restoration efforts.

In 1974, Market Street Restoration Agency (MSRA) was established to guide the revitalization of downtown Corning following the flood of 1972. After the flood, many communities began widespread demolition of their downtowns, seeing the flood's devastation as a route toward "urban renewal." In the early 1980's, Corning Enterprises joined the effort at the forefront of this transformation providing vision, leadership, and resources to the community. However, what started as a restoration initiative from the flood soon blossomed into a collaboration of agencies working on advancing the economic development, quality of life and historic preservation of Corning's downtown.

Each year the Market Street Restoration Agency (MSRA) recognizes building and business owners for exemplary signage and restoration projects for facade and interior renovations. The Pan Awards this year were received by Cugini, 14-16 W. Market Street for both facade and interior restorations, and The Office Pool and Libations, 70 W. Market Street for signage. Each building owner received a framed certificate in addition to a beautiful piece of glass created by local glassmakers at Vitrix Hot Glass Studio, 77 W. Market Street.

Kristen Stewart, Director of Preservation & Design for Corning's Gaffer District shared, "Historic preservation is an important initiative in Upstate New York and particularly relevant one with the current threat to historic tax credit initiatives. Corning has always been my home, and it's a humbling experience, being a facilitator for economic development for the Gaffer District. I hope that events like National Preservation Month and the Pan Awards bring awareness to our beautiful downtown, it is my hope that everyone who comes here sees it as a place to be sustained, celebrated and shared. #ThisPlaceMatters"

Honoring the rich history of Corning was an important component of National Preservation Month, and with the collaborative efforts of MSRA and the Southeast Steuben County Library the community was able to visit the library to learn more about the Faces of Corning project, showcasing the work and contributions of many Corning Glass Works employees and residents from 1940–70 throughout the month of May.

For more information about the historic preservation and restoration efforts in downtown Corning, visit

Please contact Kristen Stewart, Director of Preservation and Design for Corning's Gaffer District with questions, or call (607) 937-6292.

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