Monday, August 29, 2016

Behind the Walls

by Rachel Dworkin, archivist

 This Thursday we will be installing our latest exhibit, Behind the Walls: Architectural Plans and Drawings, in the Education Room.  As the name implies, the exhibit will feature a selection of architectural drawings from our collections.  Here at CCHS, we have blueprints and concept drawings for a wide array of public buildings including schools, churches, stores, factories, hospitals, banks, and government buildings. Here is a little taste of what we’ll be showcasing in the exhibit.

 First Baptist Church

Concept drawing for the First Baptist Church, 1892
Elmira’s First Baptist Church was established in 1829. There have been three successive Baptist churches at the Wisner Park site. The third structure was built in 1892.  Designed by local architects Joseph H. Pierce (1855-1932) and Otis Dockstader (1851-1929), it was intended to be both a house of worship and a community center equipped with concert spaces, classrooms, and even a basketball court.

Longitudinal section of the First Baptist Church, 1892 

Chemung County Jail

 The Chemung County Jail was constructed in 1872 by J. & S.M. Clark. It originally served both as a prison and as a residence for the sheriff.  In 1906, the Seneca Engineering Company of Watkins Glen designed a series of improvements to the holding cells. The original jail was demolished in 1941 to make way for its replacement which still stands today.

Improvements to the cell block, 1906

Mark Twain Hotel

The Mark Twain Hotel was built at the tail end of Elmira’s 1920s construction boom. It was designed by New York City architectural firm George B. Post & Son with help from the local firm Considine & Haskell. At the time, the hotel was considered state-of-the-art with fireproof construction and a bathroom for every bedroom.  It also had several conference and dinning rooms as well as shops on the first floor. 

Plan of the first floor of the Mark Twain Hotel, 1929

1 comment:

  1. Its really neat to see pictures and architectural drawings from our past here in Elmira and Chemung County as to remind of what we were, what we looked like and how we have evolved into the buildings and sites we have today.