Preservation Erie lists 9 ‘most endangered properties’ in Erie County
Nine buildings in the Erie region, including some local landmarks, are at risk of falling or being demolished, according to a volunteer organization hoping to save them.
The buildings are on Preservation Erie’s 2021 list of Erie County’s Most Endangered Properties.
The properties include the former Greyhound Bus Terminal on Perry Square, which was one of eight buildings on North Park Row purchased by Erie Downtown Development Corp. for $ 2.95 million in 2019. EDDC plans to remove the terminal and build a five-story arcade for stores and restaurants. as part of a multi-million dollar plan to transform the North Park Row properties into a culinary and residential arts complex.
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The proposed North Park Row complex would revitalize the downtown area, support more than 20 businesses and provide more than 240 jobs, EDDC CEO John Persinger said when announcing the plan in 2019.
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The terminal is not original to North Park Row, but should be preserved as the only example of Modern Art architecture in the area and as one of many Greyhound facilities designed by transport architect WA Arrasmith, according to Preservation Erie. The curved side and windows of the building were intended to evoke speed and elegance.
Built in 1939 on the site of an opera house destroyed by fire, the building currently houses a club and a bar.
Other properties on the endangered property list, including the Old Erie and Fairview Schools, are vacant.
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All deserve to be preserved for their architecture, historical significance, or both, said Melinda Meyer, president of Preservation Erie.
The Most Endangered Properties list aims to raise awareness of the challenges properties face and generate ideas and actions to preserve and reuse them, Meyer said.
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“Our hope is to make the community aware that these important buildings are in danger of demolition or that their condition is deteriorating because they have not been cared for for a very long time,” said Meyer. “A new use must be found for these buildings, and our hope is that community awareness about them will result in solutions or options for reuse. “
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The list of the most threatened properties
Here’s the full list of Preservation Erie 2021 properties that the organization says should be redesigned and reused:
- Greyhound Bus Terminal, North Park Row, Erie.
- Continental Rubber Works Building, West 20th and Liberty Streets, Erie. Built in the late 1800s and the seat of the rubber factory from 1903, the vacant building is owned by Leon Commercial Leasing, who applied to the city for approval to build a warehouse on the property.
- Private home, 59 W. Main St., Northeast. Included in the 2014 National Inventory of Significant Architectural Properties at least 75 years old, the house was acquired by the Erie County Land Bank in May.
- Burton School, 1661 Buffalo Road, Erie. The school dates back to 1894 and was closed in 2012 by the Erie School District, which is offering it for sale.
- Irving School, 2310 Plum Street, Erie. Also closed in 2012 and for sale by the Erie School District, the school was built around 1897.
- Manchester Road / Swanille School, Route 20 and Manchester Road, Fairview. The one-room brick school was built in 1900 and has been unoccupied for a few years.
- Joshua C. Thornton House, West Lake Road, Fairview. The Italian / Italian villa style home was built in 1870 and is owned by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, which recently submitted a demolition plan to the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office for review.
- Short Street townhouses, 214, 216, 216½ Short St., Erie. The houses were built in the “New Jerusalem” neighborhood for former slaves and free blacks in 1832-35. One of the properties was demolished. Two are owned by development companies.
- East Erie Turners, 829 Parade St., Erie. Built in 1890, the club once had 5,000 members but has been closed for about seven years.
For more information on the properties, visit preservationerie.org.
Preservation Erie was founded in 2007 to promote, preserve and enhance the character of Greater Erie through community planning, design and preservation.