Sunday, September 23, 2012

French Street from 5th to 6th before Erie Insurance

East side of French St. between 5th and 6th. Photo by Chester Wasielewski. ©Debbi Lyon 2012.
1880 view of French Street.
This photo of Downtown Erie starts about a quarter of a block up from East 5th and French Street and continues south to East 6th St. These buildings were demolished years ago and Erie Insurance currently occupies this site. The three-story building to the right of Buyer's Fair in the top photo can be seen in the small photo from 1880 on the right, when the building was painted white or yellow.

The space on the far left of the photo was employee parking for a downtown business. The D. C. Sullivan Co. (wholesale novelties) is the first building on the left, at 511 French Street in Erie, PA. The second building, at 515 French, was Buyers Fair, owned by the late Jack Lectner. The Perry Square Cafe (owned by George and Andrew Markopoulis) was located at 523 French St. There was a tavern at 531 French, on the corner of 6th and French.

The posts from the building on the far right were salvaged and still stand near the corner of 6th and French.

Enjoy more fun facts about the history of Erie, Pennsylvania at: Old Time Erie


  1. The building with the white columns at extreme right of the color photo was once known as the P.A. Becker Building. At the time of its demolition in the 1980s, it was known as the Crazy Horse Saloon. Four of the iron pillars were preserved and stand in front of the Erie Insurance headquarters at E. 6th and French. There's an article about the building at the Erie Insurance website,

  2. The low building in the middle of the block was "Larry's Billiards" during the mid to late '60s.

  3. Wasn't the building to the far left once a VW dealship? This is where I believe I bought my "superbeetle" back in 1972 for $2400.