There’s a push to preserve Erie’s history, and on Thursday, city officials presented a report card. They said the city’s Historic Preservation Task Force is making progress.
The city is receiving a grant to conduct a citywide survey in search of historic landmarks. There’s an ongoing effort to preserve Erie’s historic buildings.
A task force was created more than two years ago to identify city landmarks that should be preserved. The city’s first-ever historic preservation planner said these efforts stimulate economic growth.
“Cities across the country have used historic preservation not only to just preserve buildings, but to revitalize cities. It’s not about turning buildings into museums or anything like that but using these historic buildings as a means to recreate memories in the city,” said Chris Kinder, historic preservation planner.
The city’s Historic Review Commission was created in May of 2021. That commission selected a Chicago-based consulting firm called the Lakota Group to help the city with their historic preservation plan.
The consulting firm will help the city find resources and buildings to list on the National Registry of Historic Places.
“It’s important to preserve those, to tell the story but also to just help people remember how great this city is and to redevelop some pride in the city,” said Kinder.
One architect that’s part of the commission said there are many historic buildings worth saving and that they’ll use the money to fund a citywide survey.
“There’s so much of the built environment that isn’t being used, and buildings that are just sitting there, so it’s really untapped potential, and if we could really realize these buildings, find resources to update these buildings and bring them to current use, to me that would be a realization of that goal,” said David Brennan, architect.
It’s a $25,000 historic preservation planning grant for 2022. Brennan said the funding is needed.
“Sometimes we are limited in our finances, so if we could find out what those resources are, educate the community, and have everybody on the same page, that’s important for Erie’s future,” Brennan added.
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Residents can contact the city’s commission with their input here.