Although the city of Corning is known around the world for glass, back in 1796, when it was founded, the primary industry in the area was lumbering. As a matter of fact, at one point, the mills around Corning were reputed to be the largest in the world. With the increased use of canals and railroads and the depletion of timber, Corning eventually became a key location in the shipping of farm products, lumber, coal, tobacco, grain and whisky. However, as manufacturing took over following the Civil War, it became an industrial town and the first major post-war industry was glassmaking, which has remained at the heart of Corning’s success for 140 years.
When you step onto the brick sidewalks of Corning’s Historic Market Street (used by the National Registry of Historic Preservation as a model for their main street program) and take in the galleries, glass studios, antique shops, boutiques, specialty stores, and diverse places to eat, you’ll feel the electricity of a downtown that’s alive with activity.
Located about halfway between New York City and Niagara Falls, Corning is the ideal starting point for people interested in breathtaking scenery, the warm pristine waters of Keuka Lake, and world-class wineries like Dr. Frank’s located in nearby Hammondsport.
The Rockwell Museum of Western Art has been called “The Best of the West in the East.” It focuses on cowboys, Native Americans, buffalo and “Out West.”
Hillcrest Manor, an 1890 Colonial Revival mansion, is filled with fine art and antiques, has five working fireplaces and over 20 rooms.
The Patterson Inn is the oldest frame structure in the valley. The Painted Post-Erwin Museum is in an historic railroad depot and depicts life in the area from the Ice Age through recent times.
Corning Community College Planetarium helps visitors explore the wonders of the universe and travel beyond with continuously changing shows.
Market Street Brewing Company
Tony R’s (steak and seafood)
Thali of India
Three Birds (Indian grill)
Grill 1-2-5 (at the Radisson)
Also, on Market Street and elsewhere in Corning you’ll find Mexican, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants. You can get bar food or other exceptional meals at places like The Gaffer Grill & Tap Room, Sorge’s Italian Restaurant, Old World Cafe & Ice Cream, London Underground, The Cantina at the Rockwell Museum, and more.
Holidazzle Shopping Weekend and Parade of Lights both occur in November.
Sparkle, which features horse-and-carriage rides, craft and food vendors, live entertainment, and more happens in December.
In April, the sixth annual, one-of-a-kind, three-day Glass Sale offers a chance to find all of the glass in the Gaffer District’s downtown at discount.
For more details, visit:
by Dave DeGolyer, Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau