Thursday, November 1, 2012

8th and State Woolworth's and Penn Bldg Erie PA

Postcard courtesy of Erie Police historian Ken Sidun.
This postcard shows a couple of Erie, PA landmarks that no longer exist- Woolworth's on the left and the Penn Building on the right. The F. W. Woolworth Company was located in the Gabel Block at 810 State Street. In this early version of Woolworth's, the store was more prominently known as the S. H. Knox Co., a five and dime retailer. The Woolworth's that most of us remember in Downtown Erie was much bigger than the store shown here.

Check out the old Woolworth's from a different angle:

The Penn Building was located at 801-813 State Street, on the southeast corner of 8th and State. The Peoples Bank was located on the first floor of this red brick building. Look closely and you can see the yellow sign for the bank, right above the frame of the awning.

"The Penn Building was erected in 1868-1869 and was known as the Noble Block, having been built by Orange Noble. In January, 1894, the Jarecki estate bought the building for $80,000 and spent $60,000 for rebuilding and improvements. In the late 1890s, fire partly destroyed the structure, after which it was then remodeled again." -Erie Dispatch, January 17, 1914.

Orange Noble, by the way, was formerly the Mayor of Erie.

Security Savings & Trust Company, the Peoples Bank and haberdasher Frank S. Bond bought the Penn Building from the Jarecki estate for $250,000 in January of 1914. Security Savings merged with Peoples Bank to become Security Peoples Bank. Isaac Baker, whose store was located at 629 State Street, was a director of Security Peoples Bank until he died in 1929. Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

First Niagara Bank currently occupies the site of the old Penn Building in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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