Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Corning in Steuben County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Market Street Historic District

Centerway Square

 

—Corning’s Gaffer District —

 
Market Street Historic District Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
1. Market Street Historic District Marker
Inscription. In recognition of its historical and architectural importance, Market Street has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The street is composed of fine examples of late 19th Century commercial buildings rehabilitated as part of a comprehensive downtown revitalization program. Of particular interest are the locally manufactured decorative terra cotta details that adorn many of the buildings façades.'

Dedicated on the occasion of the New York State Preservation League 8th Annual Conference, May 16, 1981.

The Story of the Square. The adjacent clocktower created a focal point for the community when it was constructed in 1883 in an open, brick-paved area. The clock was a gift by heirs of the community’s founder, Erastus Corning. It was designed by the Rochester architectural firm of Walker and Lathrop and constructed by local builder John Cogan, who used antrum stone from a nearby quarry. French clockmaker Fessott was retained to design the workings as his clocks were reputed for their accuracy in all types of weather. For many years, the clock performed precisely, varying little more than half a second per month.

At midnight on July 31, 1912, having been neglected for over thirty years, the clock struck 2,411 times over seventeen continuous minutes. A large crowd of city residents gathered
Market Street Historic District and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
2. Market Street Historic District and Marker
in the Square, and hundreds more lay awake in fear of some disastrous event. When the chiming finally ceased, the crowd erupted into a relieved applause and cheering.

Upon completion of the adjacent Centerway Bridge (now a pedestrian link to the Corning Glass Center) in 1921, the Square became a busy thoroughfare. At that time a large legal battle ensued over the fate of the tower, when some residents seeking the dismantling of the mute monument whose hands stood still for months at a time. After three years of dispute, clock supported prevailed and the monument remained in place.

In 1954, the clocktower was moved temporarily to the street’s edge while construction was completed on “Monkey Run.” This underground river was engineered to aid in flood prevention and remains beneath the Square and the tower today.

In 1989, Centerway Square was reconstructed as a city park to more fully develop its role as the gathering place it has long been for the community. The restored clocktower remains the most significant figure of the new pedestrian plaza, and a new stage was created to facilitate the numerous outdoor performances which enliven the city. The renewed Centerway Square was designed by Binghamton landscape architects Young Associated in conjunction with Corning’s Market Street Restoration Agency and was developed by Corning Intown Futures.

The
Clocktower at Centerway Square image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
3. Clocktower at Centerway Square
Bricks of the Square.
Found throughout the Square are the names of Corning area citizens and businesses. Through the purchase of commemorative bricks, they contributed to the Centerway Square Endowment Fund which will insure permanent maintenance and care of the park and its facilities. The “Buy-a-Brick” program was developed by the Market Street Restoration Agency in conjunction with the Greater Corning Area Chamber of Commerce and Corning Intown Futures.

The People of the Square. Outstanding collaboration typical of Corning made the redevelopment of Centerway Square possible. City officials, community agencies and broad-based financial support from the public sector, businesses and individuals joined to make this a place for all to enjoy.
 
Erected 1981.
 
Location. 42° 8.609′ N, 77° 3.27′ W. Marker is in Corning, New York, in Steuben County. Marker is at the intersection of West Market Street and Pine Street, on the right when traveling west on West Market Street. Touch for map. It is at the Centerway Square. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 W Market St, Corning NY 14830, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Concert Hall Block (a few steps from this marker); Galvin and Haines Insurance
Terra Cotta Details on Drake Building image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
4. Terra Cotta Details on Drake Building
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ecker Drug Store (about 500 feet away); At This Location an Alliance of Prosperity was Formed (about 500 feet away); The Southern Tier Roller Mills (about 600 feet away); First Presbyterian Church (about 600 feet away); City of Corning (about 600 feet away); Erie Avenue (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Corning.
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Detail from Marker image. Click for full size.
5. Detail from Marker
The Drake Building and others on East Market Street image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
6. The Drake Building and others on East Market Street
Benches Face the Stage in Front of the Drake Building image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
7. Benches Face the Stage in Front of the Drake Building
West Market Street, View From Near the Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
8. West Market Street, View From Near the Marker
East Market Street, View from Near the Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 12, 2014
9. East Market Street, View from Near the Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 30, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on December 30, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Closeup of the upper part of the marker • Photos of other buildings and features in the Historic District • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement