Local historic preservation group speaks out about the demolition of former law firm building

Local News

A piece of Erie history is now in ruins tonight as it was demolished to make way for the future on the new campus of Erie’s Cathedral Prep.

One organization however is not happy with the 12.5 million dollar project. The organization is saying that another building’s history is lost, in the name of progress.

Here is why the demolition is such a big deal to the organization and why others may feel the same way.

Melinda Meyer is the chair of Preservation Erie. She said that it’s vital to keep historic buildings because all buildings have a story to tell.

This 1920’s building was last used as a law office. Now the building is being torn down for the development of the Salata Technology and Innovation Center as part of the combined Prep and Villa Maria Academy campus.

Some people aren’t too happy with the demolition.

“When a wrecking ball takes down a building, it’s too late,” said Melinda Meyer, Chair of Preservation Erie.

Meyer wishes that the school could have found a better way to establish the planning of a 30,000 square foot building devoted to science, technology, engineering, mathematics and art.

“Whether or not a project can incorporate a building like this that conversation should really happen in the planning phases, not as the building comes down,” said Meyer.

Although some Erie residents may not agree with the demolition, Cathedral Prep said it’ll be for the better.

In a written statement by the school, it says “unfortunately we needed the land that the former law firm sat on to make space for our 30,000 square ft. Salata Technology and Innovation Center.

Meyer said that there wasn’t enough time to talk the school out of it.

“It was incredibly sad to see a historic resource lost that really was being cared for and well used,” said Meyer.

Meyer said that historic buildings are vital for the City of Erie. She said that when she sees redevelopment activities increasing in the city.

To Meyers this means greater pressure on historic resources such as the building at 246 West 10th Street.

Meyers said she’s working with the City of Erie to establish a preservation program.

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