The Corning Incorporated Foundation granted the Center for Mark Twain Studies (CMTS) $10,000 to help restore and preserve the historic octagonal study where Mark Twain penned many of his most iconic literary works.
“We are excited for the outpouring of support from the Corning Incorporated Foundation and other organizations as we preserve the memory and legacy of one of America’s greatest authors,” said Joseph Lemak, director of the Center for Mark Twain Studies and assistant professor of History at Elmira College. “Since Twain’s niece, an English professor at Elmira College, presented the Study to the College in 1952, we have been proud custodians of the inspirational building.”
The funds will help CMTS ensure the legacy of Mark Twain as a cultural and historical cornerstone of this region. Today, the Study is used to help educate local students about Twain and is also a tourist attraction for literary and historical fans.
“Mark Twain’s mind, spirit, wit and humor resonate around the world,” said Andrea Lynch, president of the Corning Incorporated Foundation. “The Foundation is proud to recognize his more than 20 consecutive summers creatively writing in Elmira through the preservation of his unique and special octagonal study.”
CMTS has already begun work to restore and preserve the Study. In 2019 the Preservation League of New York provided grant monies to commission a Mark Twain Study Historic Structures Report from Johnson-Schmidt & Associates, Preservation Architects. The historic structures report gives a detailed architectural history of the Study and provides a list of restoration, preservation, and maintenance priorities and recommended treatments. CMTS began working through the recommendations, including roof repair, replacement of a more historically sensitive staircase and railing, restoration of deteriorated wood planks, and removal of non-historic hedges that obscured the view of the lower section of the building.
Work will continue through 2024, ahead of the Study’s 150th anniversary, which will bring additional media attention and tourism to the region.
About Center For Mark Twain Studies – The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies was founded in January 1983 with the gift of Quarry Farm to Elmira College by Jervis Langdon, the great-grand-nephew of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The Center offers distinctive programs to foster and support Mark Twain scholarship and to strengthen the teaching of Mark Twain at all academic levels. The Center serves the Elmira College community and regional, national, and international students and scholars of Mark Twain.
About the Corning Incorporated Foundation – The Corning Incorporated Foundation is a charitable contributions organization established by Corning Incorporated in 1952. Through leadership and collaboration, the Foundation strives to foster vibrant, enriching, and supportive Corning communities. The Foundation focuses on education, human services, culture, and volunteerism in Corning business locations.