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A lot happening at Troy Shirt Factory

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GLENS FALLS - The building that started out as a shirt factory is now the home to dozens of artists, artisans, healers and craftspeople.

The Shirt Factory stands at the corner of Cooper and Lawrence streets in Glens Falls, and under the ownership of Eric Unkauf, it is becoming a destination.

Unkauf hired Cindy Gorman as his operations facilitator and Kate Austin as the community coordinator. Both women are artists with studios in the building.

"We address tenants' concerns, lease the spaces and promote the building," Gorman said. "Our goal is to make it known as an arts and healing center."

Recently the large door at the loading dock entrance was restored, and a window was added. The floors near that entrance have also been restored.

Sick and dying trees were removed from the courtyard on the corner of Cooper and Lawrence, and the area is being landscaped for potential outdoor activities.

Arts in the Public Eye is hoping to hold another movie night in the courtyard.

"Eric has been buying dresses made by the McMullen Company off eBay," Gorman said. "These dresses were featured in fashion magazines like Vogue in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s."

She said the clothing that was originally made in the factory will be put on display throughout the building at some point, along with other historic artifacts.

"We're putting up signs, outside and inside, so people can find there way around," Gorman said.

In addition to the many artists and services in the building, many classes are offered, and Gorman said a brochure is in the works that will list these classes.

"We have yoga, pottery, t'ai chi, watercolors, fabric art, quilting; so many things you can learn here," she said.

The Shirt Factory has at least 60 spaces, which are all full, with a waiting list. Several studios have multiple artists, so there are more than 60 artists in the building.

"We're in the process of moving out the few left that are using the space as storage," Gorman said. "Several people have regular business hours, and the best time to find people in their studios is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, between 1 and 5 p.m."

Donnalyn Milford owns Sensibiliteas, a specialty loose tea shop in the building.

"Things are superb now, never better," she said of the way the building is being managed. "Kate and Cindy make a great team and they make things happen. I'm seeing more people coming through."

Milford said she is seeing more tourists coming through the building.

"I saw two women here, one from New Jersey and one from Pennsylvania, and they were so impressed, they wished they had a shirt factory in their town."

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