Corning, N.Y. —
The architectural practice known as adaptive reuse has many benefits.
Not only does it preserve historic landmarks, but it reduces the need for new buildings, saving materials and cutting down on urban sprawl. And it has helped to revitalize downtowns, such as Corning’s Market Street.
Over the past few months, students from six area middle schools have been learning
about adaptive reuse through the Architectural Awareness Program, a joint effort between the schools, the Career Development Council, the American Institute of Architects and Corning Inc.
The students picked old buildings somewhere in their community, visited the sites, then worked with a teacher and a local architect to come up with ideas for transforming the buildings to suit a new purpose.
Wednesday, they used models, renderings and slide shows to share their visions at the Corning Museum of Glass auditorium.
A group from Addison Junior High talked about turning a section of aging buildings on their village’s Main Street into a combination of businesses and upper-floor apartments. The businesses they wanted to attract included restaurants and an ice cream shop.
“There certainly wouldn’t be a shortage of places to eat in Addison,” joked teacher Mike Overton.
The students from Bradford Central wanted to turn a school administration building in Painted Post into an upscale, military-themed hotel called the Freedom Inn.
Campbell-Savona students crafted designs that would turn an abandoned building in Savona into a hangout for kids and teens, complete with an arcade, skateboard park and a concert stage.
The youths at Bath’s Dana Lyon Middle School came up with a plan to renovate a historic building at 1 Liberty Way on Bath’s Pulteney Square that is currently for sale.
“We wanted to have an ice cream shop on the first floor,” explained Dana Lyon student Daniel Northrup. “We also wanted to turn the second and third floors into high-end apartments.”
Watkins Glen students wanted to overhaul Lafayette Park, while Waverly students planned to upgrade the hilltop landmark O’Brien’s Inn into a hotel that would ease the housing shortage caused by gas drilling industry workers.
This is the 14th year of the Architectural Awareness Program, which was also supported by Hunt Engineers and the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes. A total of 45 students participated.