The iconic Boston Store building at 8th and State Streets. Notice the hideous two-story building to the north and you’ll understand why so many city residents are concerned about the redevelopment of the bayfront GAF site.
Now whats wrong with the building next to it? yes The Boston store is iconic, but its no better looking than the other buildings, especially after they remodeled it into apartments. Hell MOST of the buildings downtown that are post 1920 aren’t that great looking OR they were torn down.
While I’d agree that the Boston Store isn’t the epitome of architectural magnificence, it does have character. I’m not sure how one could look at the clock tower and say that element alone is no better looking than what other area buildings offer. Take a look at it sometime and marvel that a department store would go to the expense of adding it.
As far as that two-story business (and I’m not criticizing the business, just the building) attempting to look all colonial, the second floor in my opinion teeters on ugliness. It’s very much an example of Erie’s desperation—and we aren’t unique in this situation—to grow its tax base. I understand the city has limited options and it needs the revenue. Unfair as the comparison may be, I see this building as no better than the Family Dollar at 24th and State, aesthetically speaking.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have every right to be skeptical about the city’s role in the GAF brownfield redevelopment, considering its track record.
File this under stop this tacky shit.
Partners George Lyons and Tom Calicchio took this dilapidated old building, which housed the Movie Stop for many years (I spent a ton of time browsing the VHS selections in there) and did some beautiful restoration work.
Such a great old building. The Erie Window Glass Company home was built over 100 years ago, and it’s a nice slice of Erie history.
Wanting to be a part of the expanding midtown redevelopment, they finally found a suitable tenant—a new radio station, with local ties. And yes, Rick Rambaldo has shown Erie he can run a business. Rambaldo is a local media legend, having founded Rocket 101 and breathing life back into K104.
So what happens? Rambaldo promptly does what his former stations did to the Boston Store when they moved in there: he puts up a garish, tacky sign. Yes, I know about business and branding. I’d like to think that when you move into an historic building you’d have just a bit of common sense…and class. But seriously, what can you expect when you name your station happi? Come on Rick, get a grip.
So, the huge Perry 200 Parade is almost upon us. I’m going to comment a bit, and perhaps expand on that in the coming days. Right now, the weather is perfect and my mountain bike is calling, so I’ll keep it short.
This photo of Oliver Hazard Perry is from the September 1946 cover of the Hammermill Paper Company’s monthly newsmagazine, The Hammermill Bond, and I thought is was very fitting to combine two very historic and important parts of Erie’s history, considering my interest in local history and our industrial past.
After reading the Erie Reader’s story on the parade, I decided to let my readers in on a little bit of my own history, something I haven’t done much of here.
In 1995 I was part of the LGBT float committee and its efforts to build a float for the Bicentennial ‘Parade of the Century’. The Reader’s story has references to that parade, and some of the current players had been involved in that effort as well—like Micheal Fuhrman.
When local talk radio dipshits caught wind of our efforts, hell broke loose. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to get the community involved and get the parade committee to OK our proposal, we suddenly had to fight off ridiculous attacks on our involvement in the parade. And then some coward decided to vandalize the float a few days before the event—which had the delightful benefit of getting Erie behind us. I have never felt so invigorated, so involved. I remember having a phone line set up at the float rebuilding site, taking calls from local individuals wanting to help and offering kind words, and media calls from various states, and legislators, and closeted gay people, and oh yes, one of my young nephews, telling me he loved me…it was an amazing thing.
Overall, the experience was a positive one, although there were also elements that were heartbreaking. Like having to wipe any references to the gay community off the float…and finding the support of people like Fuhrman, a former football player who had turned to the arts and had known how people can suddenly question your masculinity, start to waiver in the face of the opposition.
Anyway, I’m going to finish up here by saying I will most likely be hovering around the Perry 200 Parade with my cameras, if I’m not out of the city on an urbex adventure in Pittsburgh…more later.
In Erie, I got a very clear impression that the downtown residents were not welcome to cross the barriers to get to the convention center/hotel or the little public jetty next to it and that the visitors at the hotel/conference center were not encouraged to explore into downtown Erie. This situation seems to defeat part of the purpose of convention centers to bring economic benefits to the surrounding area, by bringing in more people to use local services.
How many times do we have to tell the leaders in Erie that it’s imperative to build walkways (a minimum of three) across the Bayfront Parkway? And I’m not talking about a single, flimsy, Erie-style, aluminum ladder kind of cheap crap overpass. This is an absolute no-brainer.
Erie just finished building great brick and stone-capped gateway structures to welcome the public into Perry Square. These can be easily replicated as anchors for the walkways. Why can Erie spend a million dollars on Perry Square renovations, but ignore the important work of linking the city to its bayfront?
“I respectfully remind you sir, that we have been the most patient of all people.”
-Letter from Jackie Robinson to President Eisenhower of May 13, 1958
After he retired from Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson went on to champion the cause of civil rights from his position as a prominent executive of the Chock Full o’Nuts Corporation.
Robinson had grown increasingly impatient with what he regarded as President Eisenhower’s failure to act decisively in combating racism. In this letter dated May 13, 1958, he expresses his frustration and calls upon the President to finally guarantee Federal support of black civil rights.
Next up: Ottawa Senators
Pittsburgh fans can breath easier now that the Penguins have won their series against the relentless Islanders. Right now, Penguin hockey is the only thing keeping me from cancelling my DirecTV service. Some series observations: How cool to be playing in front of the noisy crazies at the Nassau Coliseum—a place that isn’t named after some slimy corporation…it was satisfying watching Vokoun step in for Fleury and snatch back the series with a shutout…I felt nostalgic watching ex-Erie Otter Boyesy around the net and really wish he had scored a goal or two for the Islanders…and lastly, bravo on your game six winner, Brooksy!