Grand Lecturer’s Blog

Grand Lecturer Convention Wayne District December 11, 2017

Grand Lecturer Convention

Wayne District

December 11, 2017

The annual Grand Lecturer Convention of the Wayne District was held in the beautiful refurbished Temple in Palmyra. Many structural and esthetic improvements have been made to the former movie theater. I arrived at 5 PM and held a question and answer period with many of the brothers. Afterwards we move to the dining room to feast on a home-cooked ham dinner prepared by the Assistant Grand Lecturer; VW Thomas Krest along with his wife and her good friend. After the ham dinner we proceeded to the lodge room and held the convention.

The convention began with a ritual update and a highlight of the past three years of conventions. I then informed all present that the edict for certification to open and close lodge with only the elected, appointed and installed members of the lodge by memory was still in force. I also explained that the focus on the additional proficiency in open lodge was still expected work. The additional proficiency of the Entered Apprentice Degree was then portrayed.

The work of the evening was the opening and closing of a lodge in the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degree. It was explained that part of the rationale of opening on all three degrees dove tails nicely with the new North Star Project. Brothers proceeding through the lines will be encouraged to expand their depth and breadth of our ritual as opposed to rapidly being moved through the chairs.  This should help produce more informed Brethren and stronger lodges. Our mantra of quality over quantity will have added credibility as we progress in a more measure pace with our new Brethren.

The work of the evening was performed with dedication and meaning. I must compliment the AGL for his outstanding dedication to the Craft. They are strong supporters and promoters in the development of the ritualistic performance of the Brethren in the district. Thanks for your hard work. Your devotion to the Craft is bearing fruit. I have had the privilege of attending four different buildings in my trip to the district. I believe that when possible, all districts should attempt to move the convention around to buildings capable of hosting the event.    Thanks as always go out to my good friend Jeffrey Gagnon; DDGM of the district. He is always prepared and always ready to work.

Palmyra, NY

Palmyra, NY

Palmyra is a town in Wayne County. The town is named after the ancient city Palmyra in Syria. The Town of Palmyra is on the south border of the county. The town contains a village also named Palmyra. The town is about 20 miles southeast of Rochester. The Town of Palmyra, originally called “Swift’s Landing” after its founder John Swift and “District of Tolland,” was created in 1789. The sole local encounter between natives and white settlers that resulted in deaths occurred that same year. The present name was adopted in 1796, reportedly to impress a new school teacher. There were almost one thousand people in the town in 1800.

The Erie Canal was completed up to Palmyra in 1822, although the canal was not completed to its western terminus until 1825. Palmyra is part of the Erie Canal way National Heritage Corridor. In 1823, the Town of Macedon was formed from part of Palmyra’s territory as part of the creation of Wayne County from Ontario County.

Palmyra is the birthplace of the Latter Day Saint movement. Founder Joseph Smith, whose family lived on a farm that straddled the line between Palmyra and Manchester, said he had been visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ in 1820, an event known as the First Vision. In 1830 the Book of Mormon was first published in the village of Palmyra by E.B. Grandin, in the present Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site. Beginning in the early 20th century, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began buying and restoring many of the properties in the area associated with early church history. In 1997 the Smiths’ log cabin was rebuilt on its original site and in 2000 the church built the Palmyra New York Temple on a portion of the former Smith farm.

Notable residents

  • E. B. Grandin (1806–1845), printer of first edition of the Book of Mormon
  • Increase A. Lapham (1811–1875), “father” of the United States Weather Service
  • William T. Sampson (1840–1902), Admiral in the Spanish American War
  • Joseph Smith (1805–1844), founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement, resided in Palmyra from 1816 to 1825
  • Henry Wells (1805–1878), founder of American Express and co-founder of Wells Fargo
  • Clarissa Hall Jerome (1825–1895), grandmother of British statesman Winston Churchill

GLC Monroe District November 30, 2017

Grand Lecturer Convention

Monroe District

November 30, 2017

The annual Grand Lecturer Convention of the Monroe District was hosted by Fairport Flower City Lodge 476 in Fairport. The evening began with a steak dinner in the lodge catered by ERAC 163.

The convention began with a ritual update and a highlight of the past three years of conventions. I then informed all present that the edict for certification to open and close lodge with only the elected, appointed and installed members of the lodge by memory was still in force. I also explained that the focus on the additional proficiency in open lodge was still expected work.

Before starting the work of the convention, I presented the Meacham Award to Webster 538 for their outstanding ritualistic work. They qualified for the award in both 2015 and 2016. I then presented the Potts Award to ERAC No. 538 for perfect attendance at last year’s Grand Lecturer Convention. In addition, Webster Lodge qualified for the Potts Award at this convention.

The work of the evening was the opening and closing of a lodge in the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degree. It was explained that part of the rationale of opening on all three degrees dove tails nicely with the new North Star Project. Brothers proceeding through the lines will be encouraged to expand their depth and breadth of our ritual as opposed to rapidly being moved through the chairs.  This should help produce more informed Brethren and stronger lodges. Our mantra of quality over quantity will have added credibility as we progress in a more measure pace with our new Brethren.

The work of the evening was performed with dedication and meaning by the members of ERAC 163. The success of this GLC was a direct result of the hard work and dedication of ERAC 163.

Rochester NY

Rochester, NY

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in Western New York. Rochester was one of America’s first boomtowns, rising to prominence as the site of many flour mills along the Genesee River, and then as a major hub of manufacturing. Several of the region’s universities (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology have renowned research programs. In addition, Rochester is the site of many important inventions and innovations in consumer products. The Rochester area has been the birthplace to such corporations as Kodak, Western Union, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox that conduct extensive research and manufacturing in the fields of industrial and consumer products.

 

Development of modern Rochester followed the American Revolution, and forced cession of their territory by the Iroquois after the defeat of Great Britain. Allied with the British, four major Iroquois tribes were essentially forced out of New York. As a reward for their loyalty to the British Crown, they were given a large land grant on the Grand River in Canada.

Rochester was founded shortly after the American Revolution by a wave of English-Puritan descended immigrants from New England who were looking for new agricultural land. They would be the dominant cultural group in Rochester for over a century. On November 8, 1803, Col. Nathaniel Rochester (1752–1831), Maj. Charles Carroll, and Col. William Fitzhugh, Jr. (1761–1839), all of Hagerstown, Maryland, purchased a 100-acre tract from the state in Western New York along the Genesee River. They chose the site because its three cataracts on the Genesee offered great potential for water power. Beginning in 1811, and with a population of 15, the three founders surveyed the land and laid out streets and tracts. In 1817, the Brown brothers and other landowners joined their lands with the Hundred Acre Tract to form the village of Rochesterville.

By 1821, Rochesterville was the seat of Monroe County. In 1823, Rochesterville consisted of 1,012 acres and 2,500 residents, and the Village of Rochesterville became known as Rochester. Also in 1823, the Erie Canal aqueduct over the Genesee River was completed, and the Erie Canal east to the Hudson River was opened. (In the early 20th century, after the advent of railroads, the presence of the canal in the center city was an obstacle; it was re-routed south of Rochester.) By 1830, Rochester’s population was 9,200 and in 1834, it was re-chartered as a city.

Rochester was first known as “the Young Lion of the West”, and then as the “Flour City”. By 1838, Rochester was the largest flour-producing city in the United States. Having doubled its population in only 10 years. Rochester experienced one of the nation’s biggest revivalist movements, led by Charles Finney.

By the mid-19th century, as the center of the wheat-processing industry moved west with population and agriculture, the city became home to an expanding nursery business, giving rise to the city’s second nickname, the “Flower City.” Large and small nurseries ringed the city, the most famous of which was started in 1840 by immigrants Georg Ellwanger from Germany and Patrick Barry from Ireland.

In 1847, Frederick Douglass founded the abolitionist newspaper The North Star in Rochester. Douglass, a former slave and an antislavery speaker and writer, gained a circulation of over 4,000 readers in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. The North Star served as a forum for abolitionist views. The Douglass home burnt down in 1872, but a marker for it can be found in Highland Park off South Avenue.

Susan B. Anthony, a national leader of the women’s suffrage movement, was from Rochester. The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed the right of women to vote in 1920, was popularly known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment because of her decades of work toward its passage, which she did not live to see. Anthony’s home is now a National Historic Landmark known as the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House.

At the end of the 19th century, anarchist Emma Goldman lived and worked in Rochester for several years, where she championed the cause of labor in Rochester sweatshops. Rochester was also home to significant unrest in labor, race, and antiwar protests.

After the Civil War, Rochester had an expansion of new industries in the late 19th century, founded by migrants to the city, such as inventor and entrepreneur George Eastman, who founded Eastman Kodak; and German immigrants John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb, who combined technical and financial expertise to launch Bausch & Lomb in 1861. Not only did they create new industries and thousands of jobs, but Eastman became a major philanthropist, developing and endowing the University of Rochester, its Eastman School of Music and other local institutions.

GLC Oneida District November29, 2017

Grand Lecturer Convention

Oneida District

November 29, 2017

The annual Grand Lecturer Convention of the Oneida was held in the beautiful and historic Utica Masonic Center. The evening began with a dinner meeting with the district leadership at the Bella Cucina Restaurant. There was also a social hours with light refreshments for all attendees at the lodge beginning at 6:15.   We all moved to the lodge room and the convention opened promptly at 7:00   by RW Timothy Harwood, Past DDGM of the 2nd Oneida who filled in for RW Carl Klossner who is recovering from shoulder surgery

The convention began with a ritual update and a highlight of the past three years of conventions. I then informed all present that the edict for certification to open and close lodge with only the elected, appointed and installed members of the lodge by memory was still in force. I also explained that the focus on the additional proficiency in open lodge was still expected work. The additional proficiency of the Entered Apprentice Degree was then portrayed. Before starting the work of the convention, I presented Oriental Faxton 224 with their Meacham Award for their outstanding ritualistic performance in conferring all three degrees using only their own members

The work of the evening was the opening and closing of a lodge in the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degree. It was explained that part of the rationale of opening on all three degrees dove tails nicely with the new North Star Project. Brothers proceeding through the lines will be encouraged to expand their depth and breadth of our ritual as opposed to rapidly being moved through the chairs.  This should help produce more informed Brethren and stronger lodges. Our mantra of quality over quantity will have added credibility as we progress in a more measure pace with our new Brethren.

The work of the evening was performed with dedication and meaning. I must compliment both Assistant Grand Lecturers for their outstanding dedication to the Craft. They are strong supporters and promoters in the development of the ritualistic performance of the Brethren in the district. Thanks for your hard work. Your devotion to the Craft is bearing fruit. Kudos go out to Oriental Faxton who were not only gracious hosts but performed the ritual of opening and closing in its entirety. It was an example of young Brothers being instructed and taught the importance of our ritual.

Utica Railway Station

Utica Railway Station

The Boehlert Transportation Center at Union Station is a train station served by Amtrak and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in Utica, New York. It is owned by Oneida County, and named for retired U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert. The station was built in the Italianate style and includes a rusticated granite first story with buff brick above. Symmetrically rectangular in plan, there are thirteen bays across the façade and fifteen on the side elevations. A brick parapet crowns the building; over the main entrance is a large clock flanked by eagle sculptures. The Utica station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Inside is a restaurant and a barber shop, one of the few barber shops in a train station today. The 15,000-square-foot waiting room’s 47-foot-high vaulted ceiling is supported by 34 marble columns. The station’s blueprints called for the importing of columns that originally adorned Grand Central Station in New York City. Eight large benches are heated with steam pipes and vents.

Utica is served by two trains daily (one eastbound, one westbound) on the Lake Shore Limited, four trains daily (two in each direction) of the Empire Service, and two trains daily on the Maple Leaf (one in each direction). A total of eight Amtrak trains use the station daily. In addition the Adirondack Scenic Railroad operates a heritage railway from Utica to Holland Patent, Remsen, and Old Forge on a seasonal basis.[

The station was built between 1912 and May 1914, replacing an older structure dating from 1869. The building was designed by New York architects Stem and Fellheimer. Construction involved the rerouting of the Mohawk River. The Mohawk River was relocated due to the risk of flooding and the proximity of the river to the railroad, which had become a problem for the expanding city. Built as a New York Central Railroad station, in 1915 it became tenanted by the Delaware and the New York, Ontario and Western Railway as well, those two companies abandoning their structures.

At one time, the waiting room also contained three ticket windows, an information office, 15 pay telephones, a Western Union office, two shoeshine stands, a bar and grill. The Western Union Office is no longer there. As originally built, the station featured six island platforms with one alighting platform directly accessible from the station building, serving 12 tracks for New York Central Railroad trains; these were numbered 5 through 16 from south to north. (Tracks 1 and 2 were, respectively, the eastbound and westbound mainline for non-stop trains between Tracks 10 and 11, while Tracks 3 and 4 ran through the yards north of the station proper.) One additional dead-end island platform on the west side of the station building served the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (southern track) and Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (northern track), for a grand total of eight platforms serving 14 tracks. All platforms were linked by an underground passageway.

Postwar reductions in passenger traffic led to service cuts and the eventual bankruptcy of all three railroads, leaving only the mainline Water Level Route (the modern Amtrak Empire Corridor) with regular passenger service by the 1970s. Over time, all but the two centermost platforms were demolished, and the space originally occupied by the first seven station-side tracks was converted into passenger parking.

The station’s restoration began in 1978, but refurbishing/restoration work continues to this day.

As it currently exists, Union Station has one side platform (originally the third island platform), accessible directly from the parking lot, serving eastbound Amtrak trains on Track 2 (the former Track 10); and one island platform (slightly widened from its original dimensions) serving westbound Amtrak trains on Track 1 (former Track 11) and Adirondack Scenic Railroad trains on the northern side (former Track 13). These are linked by an aerial walkway, constructed during station renovations at the turn of the 21st century.

Utica, New York

Utica, NY

Utica is a city in the Mohawk Valley and the county seat of Oneida County. It is located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is approximately 90 miles northwest of Albany and 45 miles east of Syracuse. Although Utica and the neighboring city of Rome have their own metropolitan area, both cities are also represented and influenced by the commercial, educational and cultural characteristics of the Capital District and Syracuse metropolitan areas.

Formerly a river settlement inhabited by the Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy, Utica attracted European-American settlers from New England during and after the American Revolution. In the 19th century, immigrants strengthened its position as a layover city between Albany and Syracuse on the Erie and Chenango Canals and the New York Central Railroad. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the city’s infrastructure contributed to its success as a manufacturing center and defined its role as a worldwide hub for the textile industry. Utica’s 20th-century political corruption and organized crime gave it the nicknames “Sin City” and later, “the city that God forgot”.

Like other Rust Belt cities, Utica had an economic downturn beginning in the mid-20th century. The downturn consisted of industrial decline due to globalization and the closure of textile mills, population loss caused by the relocation of jobs and businesses to suburbs and to Syracuse, and poverty associated with socioeconomic stress and a decreased tax base. With its low cost of living, the city has become a melting pot for refugees from war-torn countries around the world, encouraging growth for its colleges and universities, cultural institutions and economy.

Utica was established on the site of Old Fort Schuyler, built by English colonists for defense in 1758 during the French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years’ War against France. Prior to construction of the fort, the Mohawk, Onondaga and Oneida tribes had occupied this area south of the Great Lakes region as early as 4000 BC. The Mohawk were the largest and most powerful tribe in the eastern part of the Mohawk Valley. Colonists had a longstanding fur trade with them, in exchange for firearms and rum. The tribe’s dominating presence in the region prevented the Province of New York from expanding past the middle of the Mohawk Valley until after the American Revolutionary War, when the Iroquois were forced to cede their lands as allies of the defeated British.

The land housing Old Fort Schuyler was part of a 20,000-acre portion of marshland granted by King George II to New York governor William Cosby on January 2, 1734. Since the fort was located near several trails including the Great Indian Warpath, its position—on a bend at a shallow portion of the Mohawk River—made it an important fording point. The Mohawk called the bend Unundadages (“around the hill”), and the Mohawk word appears on the city’s seal.

During the American Revolution, border raids from British-allied Iroquois tribes harried the settlers on the frontier. George Washington ordered Sullivan’s Expedition, Rangers, to enter Central New York and suppress the Iroquois threat. More than 40 Iroquois villages were destroyed and their winter stores, causing starvation. In the aftermath of the war, numerous European-American settlers migrated into the state and this western region from New England, especially Connecticut.

In 1794 a state road, Genesee Road, was built from Utica west to the Genesee River. That year a contract was awarded to the Mohawk Turnpike and Bridge Company to extend the road northeast to Albany, and in 1798 it was extended. The Seneca Turnpike was key to Utica’s development, replacing a worn footpath with a paved road. The village became a rest and supply area along the Mohawk River for goods and the many people moving through Western New York to and from the Great Lakes.

The boundaries of the village of Utica were defined in an act passed by the New York State Legislature on April 3, 1798. Utica expanded its borders in subsequent 1805 and 1817 charters. On April 5, 1805, the village’s eastern and western boundaries were expanded, and on April 7, 1817, Utica separated from Whitestown on its west. After completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, the city’s growth was stimulated again.

The municipal charter was passed by the state legislature on February 13, 1832. The city’s growth during the 19th century is indicated by the increase in its population; in 1845 the United States Census ranked Utica as the 29th-largest in the country (with 20,000 residents), more than the populations of Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland, respectively. In the latter part of the century, Chicago became a boomtown based on resource extraction and processing from the Midwest, and as a railroad center.

Utica’s location on the Erie and Chenango canals encouraged industrial development, allowing the transport of anthracite from northeastern Pennsylvania for local manufacturing and distribution. Utica’s economy centered on the manufacture of furniture, heavy machinery, textiles and lumber. The combined effects of the Embargo Act of 1807 and local investment enabled further expansion of the textile industry. Like other upstate New York cities, mills in Utica processed cotton from the Deep South, a slave society. Much of the New York economy was closely involved with slavery; in the antebellum period, half of New York’s exports were related to cotton.

During the 1850s, Utica was known to aid more than 650 fugitive slaves; it played a major role as a station in the Underground Railroad. The city was on a slave escape route from the Southern Tier to Canada by way of Albany, Syracuse and Rochester. The route, used by Harriet Tubman to travel to Buffalo guided slaves to pass through Utica on the New York Central Railroad right-of-way in route to Canada.

Herkimer GLC 2017

Grand Lecturer Convention

Herkimer District

November 28, 2017

The annual Grand Lecturer Convention of the Herkimer District was hosted by Winfield Lodge 581. We were all treated to a ham dinner courtesy of the local Eastern Star Chapter. We then moved upstairs where RW Earl Wilkerson, DDGM, promptly opened the convention at 7:00 PM.

The convention began with a ritual update and a highlight of the past three years of conventions. I then informed all present that the edict for certification to open and close lodge with only the elected, appointed and installed members of the lodge by memory was still in force. I also explained that the focus on the additional proficiency in open lodge was still expected work.

The work of the evening was the opening and closing of a lodge in the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degree. It was explained that part of the rationale of opening on all three degrees dove tails nicely with the new North Star Project. Brothers proceeding through the lines will be encouraged to expand their depth and breadth of our ritual as opposed to rapidly being moved through the chairs.  This should help produce more informed Brethren and stronger lodges. Our mantra of quality over quantity will have added credibility as we progress in a more measure pace with our new Brethren.

There was much discussion as to the impact that this new option of opening on all three degrees can greatly enhance the educational process of our new Brothers. I thank all of those in attendance for their thoughtful comments.

Congratulation go out to Winfield Lodge No. 581 for qualifying for the Potts Award.

Dolgeville

Dolgeville

Dolgeville is a village in Herkimer County and Fulton County. The village is named after Alfred Dolge (1848–1922), industrialist. The village is mostly in the eastern part of the town of Manheim (Herkimer County), but is partly in the western edge of the town of Oppenheim (Fulton County). Dolgeville is east of Utica.

The village was founded in 1794 by Samuel Low with the construction of two mills. A grist mill and later a saw mill were built by Captain John Favill on Ransom Creek about 1795. Soon a little settlement sprang up as other settlers moved in; with a blacksmith shop, tannery and school house. Families by the names of Ayers, Spencer, Ransom, Spofford, Lamberson, Brockett and Randall soon followed and settled the adjoining lands which they cleared for farms.

The village of Dolgeville was incorporated in 1881. The area was at first called “Green’s Bridge” in 1805, as a settler named Green built a bridge over East Canada Creek. In 1826 the area received its first post office, with Zephi Brockett as postmaster, and the area was renamed “Brockett’s Bridge” in his honor. In 1887 the citizens unanimously petitioned the authorities at Washington to change the name of the place from “Brockett’s Bridge” to “Dolgeville”. The village changed its name to Dolgeville because of the economic growth promoted by Alfred Dolge , a pioneering and benevolent industrialist. In addition to factories, Dolge built a railroad, laid out the village, built two schools, installed an electric system, a water system, sewage, a fire department, a free library, a concert hall, a gymnasium, public paks, a newspaper, and pioneered in a pension and profit sharing system for employees.

Dolgeville encountered an economic downturn in 1999 when the Daniel Green shoe company shut down their Dolgeville factory, which was the largest source of employment in the village. Dolgeville is currently experiencing an economic recovery with the opening of a crafts, antiques, and furniture mall, Dolgeville Mill, in the old Daniel Green factory, which in turn has encouraged some other businesses to open in Dolgeville. Charles Soukup, who bought the mill in 2003, announced at the end of 2011 that he was converting the main building, a limestone structure, into 40 one- and two-bedroom apartments which would be renovated in early 2012, with the first ones ready to be rented by July, 2012. He has yet to do this though.

In late 2014, Alfred Dolge’s 1895 mansion, also owned by Soukup, which stood behind the historic factory complex, was destroyed by fire. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. The village still has a number of factories, including Rawlings, which makes a large percentage of the baseball bats used by Major League Baseball, Adirondack brand bats, as well as other wood products. North Hudson Woodcraft Corp., which had manufactured piano parts for Steinway since the 1800s until about 2005, now manufactures other wood products such as kitchen cabinets and caskets. Other companies include Tricot, which manufactures textile products, and Tumbleforms and Bergeron By Design, which both manufacture therapy products.

Corning Glass Museum

Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass is a museum in Corning, New York dedicated to the art, history and science of glass. It was founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works and currently has a collection of more than 45,000 glass objects, some over 3,500 years old. Founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works as a gift to the nation for the company’s 100th anniversary, the Corning Museum of Glass is a not-for-profit museum dedicated to telling the story of a single material: glass. Thomas Buechner, who would later become director of the Brooklyn Museum, was the founding director of the glass museum, serving in the post from 1951 to 1960 and again from 1973 to 1980.

The original Museum and library were housed in a low, glass-walled building designed by Harrison & Abramovitz in 1951. By 1978, the Museum had outgrown its space. Gunnar Birkets designed a new addition, creating a flowing series of galleries with the library at their core, linked to the old building via light-filled, windowed ramps. With memories of the 1972 hurricane still fresh (see Flood Damage), the new galleries were raised high above the flood line on concrete pillars. The new Museum opened to the public on May 28, 1980, exactly 29 years after its first opening.

By the early 1990s, the Corning Museum of Glass was once more overflowing its exhibition space, and increasing visitation put a strain on guest facilities. In 1996, the Museum embarked upon the first phase of a planned five-year, $65 million transformation. Under the directorship of Dr. David Whitehouse, the first element to be added was The Studio. This state-of-the-art teaching facility for glassblowing and cold working opened for classes in 1996.

Architects Smith-Miller + Hawkinson designed an addition to the main Museum building, using glass wherever possible to convey the beauty and elegance of the art form in the building itself. The Museum’s renovation was completed in 2001, and included a new visitors’ center, Sculpture Gallery, (now the Contemporary Glass Gallery), Hot Glass Show demonstration stage and a hands-on Innovation Center with exhibitions designed by Ralph Applebaum Associates. A redesigned 18,000-square-foot Glass Market, one of the largest Museum shops in the country, filled the entire first floor of the museum. The Rakow Library was relocated to new quarters across the Museum campus.

Over the past decade, the Museum’s collection, programs, and global impact have grown significantly. At the beginning of 2012, the Museum announced a $64 million expansion project designed by Thomas Phifer, to expand contemporary gallery and Hot Glass Show space. The new contemporary wing is slated to open in March 2015.

In June 1972, disaster struck as Hurricane Agnes emptied a week’s worth of rain into the surrounding Chemung River Valley. On June 23, the Chemung River overflowed its banks and poured five feet four inches of floodwater into the Museum. When the waters receded, staff members found glass objects tumbled in their cases and crusted with mud, the library’s books swollen with water. The case holding 600 rare books tipped over, and the books were covered by mud and shards of glass panes. Half of the entire Library collection was damaged in the flood. According to Martin and Edwards, 528 of the Museum’s 13,000 objects had sustained damage (1977, 11). At the time, Buechner described the flood as “possibly the greatest single catastrophe borne by an American museum.” Conservation was an immediate concern and staff moved quickly to freeze the flooded materials. Museum staff members, under the directorship of Robert H. Brill were faced with the tremendous task of restoration: every glass object had to be meticulously cleaned and restored, while the library’s contents had to be cleaned and dried page by page, slide by slide, even before being assessed for rebinding, restoration, or replacement.

During the extensive recovery efforts, the Library occupied an abandoned Acme grocery store across the street from the Museum. Altogether, staff and volunteers dried, cleaned, and restored over 7,000 water-logged, frozen books over the next 2 years. The rare books were sent to Carolyn Horton, a leading restoration expert, who disassembled, washed, deacidified and rebound them. On August 1, 1972, the Museum reopened with restoration work still underway.

Ask the GL

Please use the form below to ask any and all questions related to ritual within our jurisdiction. You may choose to ask anonymously, and we will not show your name if your question is answered online. (Your name and email is required for the form.)

The question may be edited for publication purposes.

* indicates required field