Glens Falls Downtown Development Strategy

Glens Falls, NY

Applied Expertise

  • Urban Design
  • Design Standards
  • Market Analysis
  • Downtown Development
  • Transportation
  • Public Involvement
  • Visioning
  • Heritage & Tourism


Glens Falls, a small city on the northern fringe of New York’s Capital Region, serves as a gateway to the Adirondack Mountains. The city lays claim to Cooper’s Cave, made famous by James Fenimore Cooper in The Last of the Mohicans. While the city is still the base for a number of industries including paper and medical equipment, it has experienced a loss of manufacturing employment and economic restructuring as a result. The historic downtown is largely intact and has a pleasing walkable scale, but there are many vacant and underutilized buildings.

The city engaged peter j. smith & company, inc. to prepare a Downtown Vision and Development Strategy. The objective of study was to provide a more equitable and economically vibrant downtown by creating investment opportunities, providing workforce housing integrated with current and future modes of transportation and developing Glens Falls’ thriving arts and culture scene into a destination for visitors and tourists. The study was funded by a HUD Community Challenge Grant. Public outreach techniques included focus groups and community workshops as well as an on-line presence through a special project website and social media.


2013 Smart Growth & Sustainable Planning Award, American Society of Consulting Planners

2013 Merit Award - Planning & Analysis, NY Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

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