What is the Shirt Factory?

A historic building home to an ever changing group of creative and passionate people.

The Shirt Factory has been continually evolving since opening in 1999. In the beginning it was home to a handful of artists and offices, now there are almost 100 individuals who offer an eclectic mix of shops, services, classes and original art work.

Find a range of goods in the shops such as salt lamps, loose leaf tea, pottery, locally made food, reclaimed furniture and more. Artists work in many mediums including fiber, glass, precious metals, watercolors, pastels, photography, clay and wood. Other offerings include fitness classes, massage, children’s activities, and a beauty salon.

Visitors are welcome to wander the halls daily from 8am-5pm.

For the best experience, visit Thurs.-Sat., 12pm-5pm. Each studio sets their own schedule, if visiting an individual please check with them for their availability before making the trip to the building.

Find us at 71 Lawrence Street & 21 Cooper Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801.

The Legacy of the Shirt Factory

For almost a hundred years the McMullen Company was an important part of the Glens Falls community, not just because it was a major employer, but because of the sense of pride it inspired in the people who worked here.

Today the building continues to receive visitors who come expressly to wander the halls, recalling memories of when they or a relative worked here, visiting someone at the factory, shopping at the outlet, etc. We’ve heard many stories of McMullen garments that were passed down in a family or even folks who bought as much as they could before the factory closed and still have some shirts and ties unworn in the factory boxes. Every so often a  stray button or pin will suddenly work it’s way out of a crack in the floor boards and lay there waiting to be rediscovered.

It would be almost impossible to separate the property from the community’s memories of the Shirt Manufacturers who created it. Rather than try to do so this history has been embraced and celebrated in displays throughout the building.

Photo: The Shirt Factory

We are indebted to the Chapman Historical Museum, not only for the images on this site, but for the historical panels lining the hallway between studios 101 and 106. To read more about the buildings history, as well as view gorgeous images of the building, its founders and McMullen advertisements from fashion magazines, read the book The McMullen Leavens Company: How Hometown Worked by Thomas K. Simpson and published by the Chapman Historical Museum.

As you wander the halls you will also find shirt and dresses in display cabinets. These are but a few of the items in our personal collection of garments made under the McMullen label in Glens Falls. When they business closed, much was left behind. It was saved for years for no other reason than it belonged here, today many of the original machines and benches are in the halls for you to see and touch.

Today at the Shirt Factory

Today the Shirt Factory is an on-going evolution. The building as you see it today is not the result of a magical, over night transformation, it has been a slow, gradual process. The path to where we are now was not mapped out ahead, nor is our future, we are open to adapting to the world, being directed by passion and following dreams.

It all began in 1996 when the current owner visited the property for an auction and fell in love. He began work to preserve the building, which had begun to show signs of neglect and abandonment.

It would be three years before his purchase of the property was finalized. His intention at that time was to move his machine shop here. Once he began advertising space for rent, the responses were not primarily industrial, as he had imagined, but local artists. 

Attracted by the natural light and inexpensive rent, artists of all kinds began began pouring in, bringing with them ideas, passion, and energy.

Today the building features 77 unique studios, home to more than 100 different individuals. With so many people in one location, the building offers a wide range of opportunities for visitors! Next door in The Shirt Factory Annex (on Curran Lane), you will also find a distiller, used record shop, Rockhill Bake House and Dakine Cuisine.

Special Events at the Shirt Factory

  • Mother’s Day Shopping Event – Thurs. & Fri. 1-5PM, Sat. 10-5PM
  • Shirt Factory Gallery Shows 
  • LocalFest:Stuff Made Here 
  • Holiday Open House
  • December Open House
  • Thursday Market – May to September

About this old factory’s transformation and it’s role in the community: