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Erie Club (Charles Manning Reed House)
Charles Manning Reed hired Buffalo architect Edward Smith to design his grand Greek Revival residence on this site overlooking the city's diamond and away from the busy commercial lakefront where he had made his fortune in shipping. Over the years, though, Erie's commercial core moved south, and today the Reed mansion is in the midst of the central business district. Architectural historian Talbot Hamlin in Greek Revival Architecture in America (1944) called the house “The highest point of the Greek type in Pennsylvania.” The seven-bay facade is dominated by a porch with four two-story Ionic columns supporting a tall entablature and dentil-lined pediment. A large attic area behind the pediment houses a gallery that opens to a central rotunda. The soft orange brick of the walls is complemented by cream-colored limestone trim at the windows.
Within a decade of the Reed mansion's construction, Erie's Greek Revival Courthouse (
ER1) was completed just to the west, creating a handsome complement. At the end of the nineteenth century, other local elites commissioned large houses along W. 6th Street from Peach to Poplar streets. The Reed
The Reed house has had only two owners during its lifetime. Though the interior was adapted to the needs of a private club in 1905, much of the intricate woodwork provided by Edward F. Barger, head ship's carpenter of Reed's shipping line, has been maintained. The long, narrow office to the north mimics the four-columned portico of the main house, but on a much smaller scale and with Tuscan columns and a formal triglyph and metope entablature. Today, the smaller building houses the club's offices and a bowling alley.
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