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The Future

Dreams for the Future

Eric first came to Glens Falls in the 1990’s as a young man in his 20’s, throwing himself into his new business as he struggled with the recent death of his mother. Since then, he has made this area his home. The same passion that led him to preserve the building has driven him to seek out partnerships with neighbors and other businesses to draw attention to the East end of Glens Falls. To work toward preserving and improving this section of Glens Falls, while encouraging others to take similar initiative in the parts of the city that they are most familiar with.

Art and Entertainment
Gateway to the Adirondacks

In 2013, a redevelopment plan for Glens Falls, titled the Arts and Entertainment Gateway to the Adirondacks was published. Based upon interviews conducted to create this plan and the recommendations of the plan, Eric asked employees to reach out to other arts organizations to see if they would be interested in working cooperatively  to better highlight the arts in the area. The name changed a few times, eventually memebers settled on calling it the Arts District. Back then the original trail was meant to be a sculpture trail connecting the Shirt Factory and the Hyde Museum, eventually connecting with the World Awareness Children’s Museum. Below are images of some of the original ideas that drove the groups creation.

Art trail proposal

Over the years though, the organization’s focus shifted. Today the group and most of the projects are oriented toward downtown Glens Falls. With this shift, Eric has shifted the focus at The Shirt Factory too. He can’t fault the group for shifting focus, but we can’t abandon plans to improve the east end of Glens Falls either. Plans to make this area of Glens Falls more welcoming, more walkable.

During the pandemic, Eric began working to create more public art on this side of Glens Falls. The first step was to commission Rob Harriman and Hannah Williams to paint two old, ugly shipping containers on the Annex property. Years ago, Hannah was a tenant here and had painted a beautiful mural around her studio door. More recently the pair painted an amazing woodland mural for a candle shop on the first floor (the tenant has since moved out of state and the mural was painted over by another tenant). Being familiar with them and their work, Eric was confident in their ability to take these run down eyesores and turn them into an intriguing piece of art that transforms the Annex parking lot.

Where Do We Go Next

From Here to There
New Ideas

An engineer at heart, Eric is constantly in awe of the way artists view the world, what they create, and how they create it. Much of what he does is an effort to share this sense of awe with others. While we hold a variety of events here, many people never set foot inside. Those who do, often miss out on seeing what the artists here make. This desire to share his awe and passion about the history here drove him to set up displays on the building’s history. Now similar emotions drives him to commision public art that people can see and interact with anytime. Keep an eye out, he’s in the process of planning a new project… a Mural Garden.


Our Little Corner of the World

Like many of the artists he admires, Eric is passionate. A few years ago, he read a little on the plight of butterflies and pollinators.  The next week he began work to create a butterfly garden, reaching out to several different people and organizations to make sure he did everything right. His intention is to draw attention to the problem, while attracting and supporting local pollinators, and creating a little corner of natural beauty for the public to enjoy.

After complaining about what the city was not doing, in part due to conversations with several folks who try to navigate the city on foot, Eric was reminded that action achieves more than belly aching. Shortly after he began work to spearhead the formation of a new group, The East End Action Committee. The group meets the first Saturday of the month at Rockhill Bakehouse. It’s a collection of individuals, passionate about this section of Glens Falls, working together to improve life here for everyone. Some of the initial projects have been to clean up trash that has been left out for weeks (i.e. furniture that garbage companies will not take), and a walking survey that was shared with the city to document sidewalks in bad repair, missing curb cutouts at intersection’s etc. Their hope is to take little steps that will have a big impact, to work  collectively to make sure the city hears their concerns and works with them to improve the East End.

Each day brings something new. A new motivation. A new area of focus. A new idea to share. As Eric first found when renting out the building and more recently with the  Art’s District, thing’s do not always go according to plan. When that happen, we adjust, we adapt. We keep looking for new ways to do more, to share more good, to improve our little corner of the world.

The public art is one of the more noticable efforts, but it is just one of the things we are working on to help create a brighter future for this area. Where it will take us in the end is anyone’s guess.

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