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West 6th Street Historic District

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1840–1930. W. 6th St. between Peach and Poplar sts.

Erie's mansion district lines six blocks of W. 6th Street with residences, clubs, and institutional buildings in styles ranging from Italianate and Second Empire to the bulky modernism of Gannon University's library (see ER2).

A double Greek Revival house at 127–129 W. 6th Street was designed by and built for brothers William and James Hoskinson, who built many of Erie's mid-nineteenth-century buildings. Next door at 133 W. 6th Street, Gordon W. Lloyd, esteemed among Detroit's architects, designed the Gothic Revival Cathedral of St. Paul for the Episcopal church in 1866, while one of Buffalo's best-known architects, Edward Brodhead Green, designed the large stone Richardsonian Romanesque house (c. 1890) at 150 W. 6th Street. His firm, Green and Wicks, was popular in Erie and authored other buildings on W. 6th Street ( ER2 and ER25). Another Green and Wicks Richardsonian Romanesque house of orange brick with heavy stone trim is the Woman's Club of Erie (c. 1890; 259 W. 6th Street). At 216 W. 6th Street, the first of several idiosyncratic Queen Anne–style houses with quirky window bays was built for Lewis W. Olds and his children. He was the president and general manager of the Climax Locomotive Company. Between 1882 and 1900, four more houses in the 300 block (numbers 333, 337, 341, and 345) housed his adult children.

The First United Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (1928–1931; 245 W. 6th Street) is an imposing brown sandstone Gothic Revival church designed by John W. C. Corbusier and William E. Foster, a Cleveland firm. The facade has a large stained glass window above the one-story limestone entry pavilion trimmed with crockets of cream-colored limestone and complemented by the square, open bell tower at its side. The clerestory windows were created by Charles Connick of Boston and Nicola D'Ascenzo of Philadelphia. An addition (1983) was designed by Weibel, Rydzewski and Schuster of Erie, using New Hampshire limestone to match the original.

The oldest architect-designed house is also on the 300 block. Dr. Maxwell Wood, the U.S. Navy's first surgeon general, commissioned Dudley and Hawk in 1858 to draw plans for his brick Italianate house at 338 W. 6th Street. The brick Queen Anne house of 1888 at 311 W. 6th Street is now a bed-and-breakfast, the Boothby Inn. Cleveland architect Frank B. Meade (1867–1947) had a national architectural practice during his long career and produced a series of Tudor Revival brick houses in Erie for the Jarecki family, whose wealth emanated from the manufacture of engines and brass equipment for the oil industry. One of the earliest houses in this group is 305 W. 6th Street built in 1913 for Alexander Jarecki, the pater familias. There are four more houses in the 500 and 600 blocks that are either documented or attributed to Meade.

One of the last houses by Alden and Harlow was for A. S. Scheidenhelm (1925; 456 W. 6th Street). Its English cross bond brickwork and half-timbered side entrance set off the massive battered chimney that dominates the facade. The firm also designed the stone Gothic Revival Luther Memorial Church in 1908 several blocks away at 225 W. 10th Street. S. R. Barry of Buffalo designed the large, yellow brick Colonial Revival house at 459 W. 6th Street in 1907.

A large, orange brick Stick Style house built by J. C. Spencer in 1876 for his son William (519 W. 6th Street) is now a bed-and-breakfast. Robert Jarecki asked New York architect Theodore Cuyler Visscher (1876–1935), a college friend, to design his residence to resemble their fraternity house at Lehigh University. Consequently, the house of 1909 at 558 W. 6th Street has four Corinthian columns and Colonial Revival detailing that will be familiar to Lehigh graduates. Edward B. Green's associate Franklin J. Kidd designed 652 W. 6th Street. An unusual group of houses arranged around an oval courtyard, called the Garden Court Subdivision, is bounded by Cherry, Poplar, 6th, and 7th streets. Their construction included restrictions on cost, outbuildings, and materials as overseen by the Civic Realty Company between 1908 and 1930.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "West 6th Street Historic District", [Erie, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 492-494.

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