GlassBarge – Corning Museum of Glass

McLaren Engineering Group provided entertainment and marine expertise to transform a flat deck barge into a floating entertainment vessel capable of hosting glassblowing demonstrations for up to 150 people. The firm’s marine and entertainment engineering divisions collaborated closely with Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) on barge selection and design to ultimately obtain United States Coast Guard (USCG) Certificate of Inspection (COI) for the specialty designation of moored attraction vessel. The GlassBarge was created to commemorate Brooklyn Flint Glass Company’s journey to Corning 150 years ago. It retraced—and expanded—the journey, visiting 29 waterfront communities up the Hudson River and throughout the New York Canal System.

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

McLaren’s marine team inspected 3 barges for structural stability and general feasibility to find the best platform for this entertainment vessel. Upon vessel selection an underwater inspection, in-lieu of dry-docking was conducted, to keep pace with the client’s timeline and to meet the USCG standards. In a parallel timeline, McLaren’s entertainment team designed the barge layout to include a glassblowing container, stage, seating risers, and canopy. The 30-foot-wide, 69-foot-long canopy was designed to protect the performers, audience and stage from inclement weather and to be raised and lowered to clear height restrictions along the canal. Both teams coordinated on fuel placement and electrical wiring needed to power the all-electric patented glassblowing furnaces and canopy motors. This culminated in McLaren providing fabrication design, assembly, weldment and machining drawings for the barge build-out as well as an architectural rendering with skyline backdrop to showcase the GlassBarge’s launch in Brooklyn.

McLaren coordinated with The Corning Museum of Glass, Port of Coeymans, USCG, South Street Seaport on the construction and transit of GlassBarge. The Barge was built in Coeymans, NY and traveled the New York waterways from Brooklyn to Corning, NY.