Erie businessman Thomas Hagen has taken another step in preserving Erie’s historical buildings. Today, he announced the historic Erie Preservation Trust.
Hagen says the goal of the trust is to restore historic buildings to their original glory. He will donate to various properties he has been acquiring and restoring.
According to Erie’s Mayor Joe Schember, this process is taking an area that is run down and bringing back the history that is there. Schember says that there are very few cities in the entire country that have had this kind of transformation done.
They can be given as we restore them given to the trust to hold for the future, the future of Erie.Tom Hagen, Historic Erie Preservation Trust
Hagen says the trust is a supporting organization to the Erie Community Foundation. The historic district has over 100 buildings that were built between 1825 and 1930.
Hagen says these are unique structures and they once represented the homes of Erie’s earliest industrialists and early professional people. They are architectural gems in many respects.
The inspiration for the trust stems from the preservation act passed in 1966.
Caleb Pifer, former Executive Director of the Erie County Historical Society says if they didn’t have investment into their historic districts, the process would be very long to restore those buildings.
Pifer also thinks the unique part of this is a rapid development and restoration as well as people who are going to feel and see a difference in a much shorter period of time.
Hagen says the trust’s properties are expected to generate enough income to sustain themselves, but the trust may need additional contributions to restore other historic buildings in the future.