Adirondack Studios in Washington County to Create Scenic Art for Exhibits at Comedy Center
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the National Comedy Center has awarded a $2.9 million contract to a New York State company, Adirondack Studios, for fabrication and installation of the scenic components of the center and its exhibits. Adirondack Studios, located in Argyle, Washington County, creates the scenic and themed environments experienced in venues that range from theme parks to casinos, museums, live shows, retail and public art. With this contract, the project continues to make progress toward its targeted summer 2018 opening. The Center will celebrate the history of comedy, the craft and its artists.
"The National Comedy Center, once completed, will boost the local economy and spur job creation for Western New York, while creating a world-class cultural hub for visitors and residents alike," Governor Cuomo said. "This contract with Adirondack Studios brings us one step closer to completing this project, which will add further momentum to this region’s renaissance."
Construction on the National Comedy Center began in 2016 and will continue through 2018. Its 37,000 square feet of exhibit space involves construction of a new 6,000 square-foot building and the renovation of two historic buildings, which along with an exterior screening area and an adjacent Comedy Park will comprise the National Comedy Center campus. Renovation involves the restoration of the historic Jamestown Gateway train station. When it opens, the National Comedy Center is expected to draw 114,000 visitors annually and support 184 jobs.
As the successful bidder for the "scenic" portion of the National Comedy Center attraction, Adirondack Studios will be responsible for all of the custom cabinetry, fixtures, specialty finishes and exhibits for the entire attraction. This is Adirondack’s expertise and the company does it for projects across the country and throughout the world. Adirondack Studios was founded in 1975 as a resource for design and custom fabrication. Located in Upstate New York, the 125,000 square foot facility includes dedicated studios for design, carpentry, metal, paint, electrics, soft goods and project management. Adirondack Studios supports its offices in Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, Orlando and Pasadena from this facility.
NCC Chairman Tom Benson said, "We are extremely grateful to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for the incredible support that they have given to the National Comedy Center Project over the past three years. This support validated the project and made it a part of the long range economic development and tourism strategy of Western New York which provided the foundation that we needed to raise the remaining funds necessary to construct the Project. We are thrilled to have a New York based world-class company like Adirondack on the NCC team and look forward to working closely with them and our other partners to create this amazing attraction."
Adirondack Studios Vice President Michael Blau said, "With a deliberate decision to be based in Upstate New York to support regional economies with workforce development, Adirondack Studios is proud to be an important member of the National Comedy Center team. Just as comedy has its roots in storytelling, Adirondack Studios will use its expertise in theater to create a unique and engaging experience for visitors."
The $50 million National Comedy Center project, and its $25 million capital build, of which more than $4.3 million is supported by Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and an additional $5 million was provided by the Buffalo Billion II initiative, is designed to be a national attraction dedicated to the celebration and promotion of the art of comedy. The center will be a major nonprofit cultural institution offering year-round experiential and interactive exhibits and programming. The center will also support aspiring artists through educational programming in comedic arts.
Without New York State’s assistance, the National Comedy Center would not have sufficient funds to initiate the establishment of the Comedy Center or to develop the Comedy Public Plaza. The center has received $4,359,000 in funding from Empire State Development and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, through rounds four, five and six of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Governor Cuomo also committed an additional $5 million to the National Comedy Center through phase II of the Buffalo Billion initiative.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The National Comedy Center is a key component of Western New York’s long-term tourism and economic development strategy. It's encouraging to see a New York State company being awarded a major portion of the work being done on this world-class attraction and we look forward to its opening next year."
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "The National Comedy Center has multiple benefits for our economy, including revitalizing historic buildings, enhancing tourism and now supporting the work of New York craftspeople. I applaud Governor Cuomo for investing in the cultural and historic institutions that are crucial to vibrant communities."
Senator Catharine Young said, "This contract is worthy of applause because it is a major advancement towards our vision of constructing a world-class Comedy Center that will draw visitors from across the country and around the globe. It fits beautifully within our economic strategies of growing jobs and opportunities while enhancing our quality of life."
Senator Betty Little said, "Though they stand on opposite sides of our State, the National Comedy Center and Adirondack Studios are a great partnership well worth the support of this public-private investment with Empire State Development. As a former chair and now member of the Senate Tourism Committee and a representative wanting to see more job opportunities created, I applaud the support being offered by Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development that will be impactful in numerous ways."
Assemblyman Andy Goodell said, "I would like to express my appreciation to the National Comedy Center, its Board of Directors and staff, and Governor Cuomo for the tremendous progress in making this project a reality. In addition to its substantial economic impact of the local economy, this project will continue the legacy of Lucille Ball and elevate this entire area as a national destination for comedy."
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner said, "I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Adirondack Studios of Argyle, NY on their contract with the National Comedy Center. I am certain that the contributions Adirondack Studios will be admired by all who visit the National Comedy Center. The partnership of these two New York-based institutions will result in an overall experience that is second to none."
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan said, "The National Comedy Center is a game changer for accelerating the hospitality and tourism industry in Chautauqua County. This National attraction will bring visitors and families from all over America to enjoy all that Chautauqua County and Western New York has to offer."
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said, "The Comedy Center project will bring Jamestown onto the national stage by offering a world-class facility to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. I look forward to seeing the good work that Adirondack Studios will create for this space, and I thank Governor Cuomo for investing in the future of Jamestown."