T.G. Hawkes Glass Co. Apartments in Corning to be Honored

Preservation League Announces Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards

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Original Hawkes Office. Original trim, floor, ceilings, windows. Photo by Molly Cagwin.

ALBANY, NY (05/02/2016)(readMedia)-- The Preservation League of New York State has selected the T. G. Hawkes Glass Co. Apartments in Corning to receive an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

The League's statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York State's irreplaceable architectural heritage.

"When glassmaker T. G. Hawkes moved to Market Street, he engaged local architects Pierce & Bickford to renovate the structure to accommodate his shop and showroom," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "A century later, the space has been respectfully transformed to house ground-floor arts organizations with eight apartments upstairs. The second floor showroom and third floor factory spaces were unusually intact, and we applaud all involved for retaining their character."

The project team included Johnson-Schmidt Architect, P.C. of Corning; Edger Enterprises of Elmira Heights; and Eiron Smith of Corning. The project utilized State and Federal Historic Tax Credits and received support from a New York Main Street Program of the NYS Office of Community Renewal, funded by the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

The building and its history are an important touchstone in a community whose life blood has been, and continues to be, glass. Work was staged to enable Vitrix Hot Glass Studio, whose glassblowers have occupied the building's first floor for 35 years, to continue to work. The project has resulted in an ideal mix of street-level commercial space with market rate apartments above, contributing to a vibrant and lively downtown.

The building had been sensitively modified in the early 1980's by its former owner, Michael Orr, who maintained the historic integrity of the Hawkes Glass showroom and offices on the second floor for use by Michael Orr + Associates. He also mothballed the factory space on the third floor so that the historic elements from the glass engraving business and the building's outstanding architectural features could be saved and reused.

"I have been eager to see this building reused since my first visit to this incredible historic resource in 1990," said Elise Johnson-Schmidt, project architect. "With 25 years to think about ways to incorporate the building's elaborate roof framing, saw toothed skylights and other architectural features, and to highlight the beautiful relics from century-old technology for powering the glass engraving tools, it was a joy to have the opportunity to design the space for the developers and for our firm to develop the construction documents for the project. Edger Enterprises and Eiron Smith were very supportive of the ideas and invested above and beyond to reuse and incorporate these elements. They enabled their team to go the extra mile to remove a century of grime and elegantly articulate the elaborate framing system and the now-beautifully refinished wood and iron mechanical system that highlights the apartments."

The awards will be presented at the Preservation League's Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11th at the historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street.

The complete list of award winners is: The Renaissance Albany Hotel (Historic DeWitt Clinton Hotel) – Albany; Apple Store, Upper East Side – Manhattan; United Nations Campus Headquarters Glazed Façades Replacement – Manhattan; Babcock Shattuck House – Syracuse; Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial – Saratoga Springs; 845 Commons (Historic Mica Insulator Co. Building) – Schenectady; T. G. Hawkes Glass Co. Apartments – Corning; and Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock.

"With our annual awards program, the Preservation League explores not just the present, but the future of historic preservation. Many of the 2016 award winners provide valuable examples for others by incorporating energy efficiency techniques, adaptive reuse strategies and Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits," said DiLorenzo. "Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable nominations, and this year was no exception. We are delighted to celebrate the rebirth of the historic T. G. Hawkes Glass Co. as apartments, and to commend all members of the project team for their leadership and vision."


The Preservation League's Excellence in Historic Preservation awards program is funded by a generous grant from the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation.

The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development, and education programs all across the state.