Expansion Update: Working in the Cold

Work on the North Wing Addition slows a bit as the weather gets colder. Temperatures here in Corning have ranged in January from -9° F to 54°. Surfaces can become more slippery just like the roads. Workers walk carefully and take extra precaution.

The floor under the gallery must be heated in order to lay blocks. The mortar must dry without freezing to achieve acceptable strength. The bottom floor is tented and then heated with propane heaters so work can continue. We’ve made a lot of progress since pouring the concrete columns last winter!

It is warm enough to prevent the mortar from freezing but still cool enough to work in a sweatshirt.

Outside, the steel is freezing. Every layer of clothing warms the worker but hinders motion and slows work down–insulated boots, gloves, long winter underwear, coveralls or overalls, sweatshirts, and shirts.

Typically there are 50-60 workers outside working hard in any weather. The Museum sends a huge thank you to these contractors who ensure that the work moves on, no matter what the temperature. We are grateful for their dedication to this project.

How’re we doing?

Bundled up for outside work in Upstate New York in January.

Bundled up for outside work in Upstate New York in January.

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John Cowden works with special projects at The Corning Museum of Glass and supported the Hot Glass Show Innovation theater construction project in his retirement. Cowden was a supervisor and narrator at the Hot Glass Show from 1999 to 2011. Before joining the Museum, Cowden had more than 10 years of experience in the field of glassworking, primarily using cold working techniques, processes such as slumping, making molds, grinding, and polishing, where time is not a pressure.

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