Group Project Urban Design Workshop: Revitalizing a Rust-Belt Town: Canajoharie, NY

  • Nathaniel Abel, B.S. URS 2020
    Bryan Byun, B.S. URS 2019
    Angela Chen, B.S. URS 2020
    Peter de Lande Long, B.S. URS 2020
    Doug Gensler, B.S. URS 2020
    Adam Klier, B.S. URS 2019
    Julianne Mangano, B.S. HA 2021
    Eden Marek, M.R.P. 2020
    Quinn Otto-Moudry, B.S. URS
    Kaitlin Piazza, M.A. HPP 2020
    Cunqi Ren, 2019
    Shruti Shah, B.Arch. 2020
    Jacob Soley, B.S. URS 2020
    Tingyue Tan, B.S. URS/B.L.A. 2023
    Sara Tayara, B.S. URS 2020
    Haoming Wu, M.S. AAD 2019
    Cun Zhang, M.S. AAD 2019
    Luyao Zhou, M.S. AAD 2019
  • Class

    CRP 5850: Urban Design Workshop
  • Instructor

    Mitch Glass

Canajoharie, New York is located on the Mohawk River in upstate New York. Long known for its most famous factory — the Beech-Nut baby food company, founded in 1890 — the town was changed when Beech-Nut moved their operations out of Canajoharie in 2011. Numerous proposals were suggested for the adaptive reuse of the Beech-Nut buildings, a complex of office and warehouse structures built over many decades and located in the heart of the town. Although none have come to fruition (2019) many are still being discussed as a way to adapt Canajoharie into a 21st century economy and future.

Students in the Cornell course in Spring 2019 worked collaboratively in teams to create conceptual urban design scenarios for the Village of Canajoharie and the Beech-Nut site. The class worked for and with the planning and economic development offices of Montgomery County and made presentations both internally at CRP and to the Montgomery County Legislature at key milestones. The course included a site visit to Canajoharie followed by detailed site and market analyses, conceptual idea formulation, land use alternatives, spatial design diagrams, and urban design and public space proposals. The project allowed students to engage with a real-world urban design problem regionally while testing urban design solutions for a specific client while building studio and presentation skills.

To view the report, please contact the Department of City and Regional Planning.

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