|Eastside of State St. from 7th to 8th. Photo by Chester Wasielewski. ©Debbi Lyon 2012.|
The businesses that are visible in this photo, from left to right, are the Erie Sport Store at 709 State; First National Bank, 715 State; Block's Billiards; Strub's Restaurant at 725 State St.; Duggan-Rider at 727 State St., Beneficial Finance Co. at 729 State St. Beneficial was on the southeast corner of 8th & State.
The buildings to the north of Erie Sport Store in the photograph above were torn down in February of 1969 to make way for the new Erie Sport Store building. The construction caused the collapse of 709 State Street, and damaged buildings at 713 and 715 State St. Six employees were inside the Erie Sport Store when it started to crumble on February 18, 1969. A construction worker ran inside to warn John 'Jack' Weber to get out of the building. "I yelled back one last time for anybody inside to get the hell out of there," Weber told the Erie Daily Times, "then I got out. Minutes later the whole thing came down."
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield can currently be found at 717 State St. Here is a map of this block from 1950 which lists the names of all the stores.
Here is a picture of the east side of the 700 block of State
Enjoy more fun facts about the history of Erie, PA at: Old Time Erie