The Corning Museum of Glass is the most visited museum in the state outside of New York City, pulling in about 400,000 people a year. And with a new renovation project underway, museum officials say they'll soon be bringing in many more. YNN's Katie Husband gives us the details on the $64 million project that's one of a kind in the world.
CORNING, N.Y. -- "Eric's going to cool this down a little bit more, it's still very, very soft," said a Corning Museum of Glass glassblower.
They're one of the biggest draws for visitors to the Corning Museum of Glass: the hot glass shows.
"One of the things the museum does very well is package all the excitement of glassmaking into a nice easy to understand, easy to watch show," said Eric Meek, Corning Museum of Glass, glass making programs manager.
Glass blowing is such a big part of the museum, in fact, that the shows are the focus of a new expansion.
When you step outside of the museum you'll see a huge building that's undergoing renovations. That's the iconic ventilator building that's going to add more space for the glassblowers.
"We're also going to have a lot more capabilities as far as the glass-making equipment is concerned. More glass, more annealing space, bigger reheating furnaces. Everything we need to invite any glass maker from around the world to come here and make whatever they want," said Meek.
Right now they melt about 350 pounds of glass, but in the new space they'll have a 1,000 pound furnace for melting along with other smaller furnaces. The entire project will mean a brand new experience for visitors.
"You'll be able to see things happening at the CMOG that you've never seen here before. Just as far as the scale goes, the complexity of what we do," said Meek.
What's really neat about this project is when it's completed it will become the largest space in the world for public glass blowing demonstrations.
"And it's really as I said, to accommodate this number of visitors we have primarily over the summer months. Our bus tour visitors are increasing every year and we get circumstances where six or eight buses will pull in simultaneously and the first thing they want to do is see a hot glass show," said Karol Wight, Corning Museum of Glass, executive director.
Keeping Corning on the map across the country and beyond.
With the new demonstration facility, the museum will be able to accommodate about 500 guests compared to the current 170. The project will be completed and open to the public sometime next year.