The Downing Building was a refined structure at 9th and Peach Street in Erie, PA. It was built in 1883 for $40,000, and later demolished for the redevelopment of Downtown Erie.
"The interior is in keeping with the exterior, elegantly and conveniently arranged...finished in attractive hard woods, and provided with stained glass windows. The ceilings are lofty- thirty feet from the floors- tastefully decorated.
The office force comprises some twenty-five clerks and assistants, a number of whom have been connected with the office for from ten to twenty years. To this office over 2,000 local agents, comprising fourteen states and five territories, render their reports, and are subject to the direction and control of the manager, Mr. Downing.
Jerome F. Downing is a native of Massachusetts, and a lawyer by profession. In 1863 he was elected District Attorney of Erie County, and it was while performing the duties pertaining to that office that he was offered the important position of general western agent of the Insurance Company of North America. In 1872 he accepted the general western agency of the Pennsylvania Fire Insurance Company. He is president of the Keystone National Bank; vice-president of the Erie Dime Savings and Loan Company, and a prominent member of the Board of Trade."
Here's a picture of the Downing Building 75 years later
Enjoy more historical facts and pictures of Erie PA at: Old Time Erie