Erie /ˈɪəri/ is a city in and the county seat of Erie County,
Pennsylvania, United States. Named for the lake and the Native
American tribe that resided along its southern shore, Erie is the
fourth-largest city in Pennsylvania, as well as the largest city in
Northwestern Pennsylvania, with a population of 101,786 at the 2010
census. The estimated population in 2016 had decreased to
98,593. The Erie metropolitan area, equivalent to all of Erie
County, consists of 276,207 residents. The Erie-Meadville, PA Combined
Statistical Area has a population of 369,331, as of the 2010 Census.
Erie is halfway between the cities of Buffalo, New York, and
Cleveland, Ohio, and due north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Erie's
manufacturing sector remains prominent in the local economy, though
health care, higher education, technology, service industries and
tourism are emerging as significant economic drivers. Over four
million people visit Erie during summer months for recreation at
Presque Isle State Park, as well as attractions such as an indoor
water park, Waldameer Park, and the casino and horse racetrack named
for the state park.
Erie is known as the "Flagship City" because of its status as the home
port of Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship Niagara. The city has also
been called the "Gem City" because of the sparkling lake. Erie won
All-America City Award
All-America City Award in 1972, and in 2012 hosted the Perry
200, a commemoration, celebrating 200 years of peace between
England, America and Canada following the
War of 1812
War of 1812 and Battle of
3 Demographics and religion
6 Arts and culture
13 Sister cities
14 See also
17 External links
Main article: History of Erie, Pennsylvania
Cultures of indigenous peoples occupied the shoreline and bluffs in
this area for thousands of years, taking advantage of the rich
Sommerheim Park Archaeological District
Sommerheim Park Archaeological District in Millcreek
Pennsylvania west of the city, includes artifacts from the
Archaic period in the Americas, as well as from the Early and Middle
Woodland Period, roughly a span from 8,000 BCE to 500 CE.
The historic Iroquoian-speaking
Erie Nation occupied this area before
being defeated by the five nations of the
Iroquois Confederacy in the
17th century during the Beaver Wars. The
Iroquois tribes had developed
and five nations formed a political league in the 1500s, adding their
sixth nation in the early 18th century. The Erie area became
controlled by the Seneca, "keeper of the western door" of the
Iroquois, who were largely based in present-day New York.
Europeans first arrived as settlers in the region when the French
Fort Presque Isle
Fort Presque Isle near present-day Erie in 1753, as part
of their effort to defend
New France against the encroaching British
colonists. The name of the fort refers to the peninsula that juts into
Lake Erie, now protected as Presque Isle State Park. The French term
"presque-isle" means peninsula (literally, "almost an island"). When
the French abandoned the fort in 1760 during the French and Indian War
(Seven Years' War), it was the last post they held west of Niagara.
The British established a garrison at the fort at Presque Isle that
same year, three years before the end of the French and Indian War.
Erie is in what was the disputed Erie Triangle, a tract of land
comprising 202,187 acres in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania
Lake Erie that was claimed after the American Revolutionary
War by the states of New York, Pennsylvania,
Connecticut (as part of
its Western Reserve), and Massachusetts. The
ownership first so a conference was arranged for on January 9, 1789
wherein representatives from the
Iroquois signed a deed relinquishing
their ownership of the land. The price for it was $2,000 from
Pennsylvania and $1,200 from the federal government. The Seneca Nation
separately settled land claims against
Pennsylvania in February 1791
for the sum of $800. It became apart of
Pennsylvania on March 3, 1792,
Massachusetts and New York relinquished their
rights to the land and sold the land to
Pennsylvania for 75 cents
per acre or a total of $151,640.25 in continental certificates.
The Battle of
Lake Erie played a role in the history of Erie.
The General Assembly of
Pennsylvania commissioned the surveying of
land near Presque Isle through an act passed on April 18, 1795. Andrew
Ellicott, who completed Pierre Charles L'Enfant's survey of
Washington, D.C. and helped resolve the boundary between Pennsylvania
and New York, arrived to begin the survey and lay out the plan for the
city in June 1795. Initial settlement of the area began that
year. Lt. Colonel
Seth Reed and his family moved to the Erie
area from Geneva, New York; they were Yankees from Uxbridge,
Massachusetts. They became the first European-American settlers of
Erie, settling at what became known as "Presque Isle".
James Madison began the construction of a naval fleet during
War of 1812
War of 1812 to gain control of the
Great Lakes from the British.
Daniel Dobbins of Erie and Noah Brown of
Boston were notable
shipbuilders who led construction of four schooner−rigged gunboats
and two brigs. Commodore
Oliver Hazard Perry
Oliver Hazard Perry arrived from Rhode Island
and led the squadron to success in the historic Battle of Lake
State and 9th Streets in downtown Erie during the early 1920s
Erie was an important shipbuilding, fishing, and railroad hub during
the mid-19th century. The city was the site where three sets of track
gauges met. While the delays engendered cargo troubles for commerce
and travel, they provided much-needed local jobs in Erie. When a
national standardized gauge was proposed, those jobs, and the
importance of the rail hub itself, were put in jeopardy. In an event
known as the Erie Gauge War, the citizens of Erie, led by the mayor,
set fire to bridges, ripped up track and rioted to try to stop the
On August 3, 1915, the
Mill Creek (Lake Erie)
Mill Creek (Lake Erie) flooded downtown Erie. A
culvert, or a tunnel, was blocked by debris, and collapsed. A
four-block reservoir, caused by torrential downpours, had formed
behind it. The resulting deluge destroyed 225 houses and killed
36 people. After the flood, Mayor Miles Brown Kitts had the
Mill Creek directed into another larger culvert, constructed under
more than 2 miles of city, before emptying into
Presque Isle Bay
Presque Isle Bay on
the city's lower east side.
Downtown Erie continued to grow for most of the 20th century, based on
its manufacturing base. It attracted numerous waves of European
immigrants for industrial jobs. Erie's economy began to suffer in the
latter part of the 20th century as industrial restructuring took place
and jobs moved out of the area; it was considered part of the Rust
Belt. The importance of American manufacturing, US steel and coal
production, and commercial fishing began to gradually decline.
before resulting in a major population downturn in the 1970s.
With the advent of the automobile age after
World War II
World War II and
government subsidies for highway construction, thousands of residents
left Erie for suburbs such as Millcreek Township, which now has 55,000
residents. This caused a decline in retail businesses, some of
which followed to the suburbs. Reflecting this perceived decline, Erie
is occasionally referred to by residents as "The Mistake on the Lake"
or "Dreary Erie".
Erie won the
All-America City Award
All-America City Award in 1972, and was a finalist in
1961, 1994, 1995 and 2009.
Panorama of downtown Erie in 1912, looking West along the 15th Street
tracks. The tallest steeple to the north of the tracks is St. Peter
Mill Creek passes through the middle of the Erie Zoo.
Erie is situated in northwestern
Pennsylvania at 42°6′52″N
80°4′34″W / 42.11444°N 80.07611°W / 42.11444;
-80.07611 (42.114507, -80.076213), on the southern shore of Lake
Erie across from the Canadian province of Ontario. It is 100 miles
(160 km) northeast of Cleveland, Ohio, 90 miles (140 km)
southwest of Buffalo, New York, and 128 miles (206 km) north of
Pittsburgh. Erie's bedrock is
Devonian shale and siltstone, overlain
by glacial tills and stratified drift. Stream drainage in the city
flows northward into Lake Erie, then through
Lake Ontario into the St.
Lawrence River, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. South of Erie is a
drainage divide, beyond which most of the streams in western
Pennsylvania flow south into the Allegheny or Ohio rivers. Lake
Erie is about 571 feet above sea level, while the city of Erie is
about 728 feet above sea level.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total
area of 19.3 square miles (49.9 km2), with 19.1 square miles
(49.4 km2) being land and the remaining 0.2 square miles
(0.5 km2), or 1.03%, being water. Presque Isle State Park
(known to the locals as "The Peninsula"), juts into
Lake Erie just
north of the city limits and has 7 miles (11 km) of public
beaches, wetlands, and fishing sites.
A road map of Erie showing the major routes that travel through it
Erie is laid out in a grid surrounding
Perry Square in the downtown
area. The downtown buildings are separated from the waterfront by
the Bayfront Parkway. The tallest structure in Erie is St. Peter
Cathedral at 265 feet (81 m), and the tallest building is
Renaissance Centre at 198 feet (60 m). Erie has generally small
ethnic neighborhoods including a Little Italy. South of 38th Street,
the grid gives way to curvilinear roads of post-1970 suburban
development. Millcreek Township and upper
Peach Street in Summit
Township include the Erie metropolitan area's newer developments.
Most of the cityscape includes renovated and refurbished factory
buildings, mid−rise housing, single family homes, and office
buildings. Erie's waterfront includes the Burger King Amphitheater and
surrounding parkland, which hosts numerous festivals. The Bayfront
Convention Center is on Sassafras Pier next to Dobbins Landing. The
Bicentennial Tower is centrally located in the skyline when viewed
from Presque Isle State Park, with the high-rise and mid-rise
buildings flanking the higher ground behind and to the east and west
sides. On the east end of the waterfront, the
Erie Maritime Museum
Erie Maritime Museum and
the city's main library, and third largest in Pennsylvania, host the
USS Niagara. Docks and marinas fill the freshwater shoreline in
The climate of Erie is typical of the Great Lakes. Erie is located in
the snow belt that stretches from
Cleveland to Syracuse and Watertown;
accordingly, its winters are typically cold, with heavy lake effect
snow, but also with occasional stretches of mild weather that cause
accumulated snow to melt. Erie lies on the typical humid continental
zone (Köppen Dfa). The city experiences a full range of weather
events, including snow, ice, rain, thunderstorms and fog. The city's
lakeside location helps to temper summer heat, with an average of only
3.8 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs annually, and the highest
temperature ever recorded was 100 °F (38 °C) on June 25,
1988. There is an average of 2.5 days with lows of 0 °F
(−18 °C) or colder annually, and the lowest temperature ever
recorded was −18 °F (−28 °C) on January 19, 1994 and
February 16, 2015.
Erie is 6th on The Daily Beast's list of snowiest places in the United
States, averaging 78.7 inches (200 cm); however, the
1981–2010 normal seasonal snowfall is 100.8 inches (256 cm).
The adverse winter conditions caused USAir Flight 499 to overrun the
Erie International Airport
Erie International Airport in 1986, and caused whiteouts
that were responsible for a 50-car pile-up on Interstate 90.
On December 24 and December 25, 2017, Erie received 53 inches
(135 cm) of snowfall, breaking a record for the largest two-day
snowfall anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania.
During the 2013–2014 snow season, Erie was the city that received
the most snow of any city in the United States; Erie received 138.4
inches (352 cm) of snow that season. According to the National
Weather service, Erie was ahead of Syracuse, New York, by 6 inches
(15 cm) of snow.
Climate data for Erie,
Pennsylvania (Erie International Airport),
1981–2010 normals, extremes 1873–present
Record high °F (°C)
Mean maximum °F (°C)
Average high °F (°C)
Average low °F (°C)
Mean minimum °F (°C)
Record low °F (°C)
Average precipitation inches (mm)
Average snowfall inches (cm)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)
Average relative humidity (%)
Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1961–1990)
Demographics and religion
Main article: Demographics of Erie, Pennsylvania
Demographics of Erie compared on the state and national levels, as of
Population %±, 2000−2010
4,631.7/sq mi (1,788.3/km2)
283.4/sq mi (109.4/km2)
87.3/sq mi (33.7/km2)
Median household income (1999)
Bachelor's degree or higher
Hispanic (any race)
As of the 2010
United States Census, there were
101,786 people, 40,913 households, and
22,915 families residing in the city. There were
44,790 housing units at an average vacancy rate of
8 percent. Erie has long been declining in population due to the
departure of factories and dependent businesses. The city has lost
approximately 40,000 people since the early 1960s, allowing
Allentown to claim the position as Pennsylvania's third-largest city
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
U.S. Decennial Census
Erie's population was spread evenly among all age groups, with the
median being 34. About 13% of families and 19% of the population were
below the poverty line. Most of the people who reside in Erie are of
Since the mid-1990s, the International Institute of Erie (IIE),
founded in 1919, has helped with the resettlement of refugees from
Bosnia, Eritrea, Ghana, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Nepal, Somalia, Sudan,
the former Soviet Union, Syria, and Vietnam. The inclusion of refugees
in Erie's community augments religious diversity and prompts community
events such as cultural festivals. It is estimated that 20% of the
city's population has refugee background, as of 2018.
In the early 20th century, Erie had a significant Russian immigrant
community, many members of which worked in the shipbuilding plants
along the bayfront. Unusual for a
Great Lakes city, a substantial
number of these Russian immigrants were priestless (Bespopovtsy) Old
Believers. In 1983, most of this community united with the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside Russia and became an Old Ritualist priest
within the canonical Orthodox Church. Even today, the gold-domed
Church of the Nativity, on the bayfront near the former heart of
the Russian community, is an Old Ritualist church and home parish to
the famed iconographer Fr. Theodore Jurewicz.
Catholic influence is felt beyond the parish in Erie; here, at
entrance to Mercyhurst University.
Erie has a
Jewish community that is over 150 years old. Temple
Anshe Hesed, a member of the Union for Reform Judaism, is served by
its spiritual leader, Rabbi John L. Bush. Congregation Brith
Jewish Center) is affiliated with the United Synagogue of
Conservative Judaism, and Rabbi Leonard Lifshen has been its spiritual
leader since 1989.
Erie is home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, covering
13 counties—at 9,936 square miles (25,734 km2), it is the
largest in the state in area. Its diocesan seat is Saint Peter
Cathedral in Erie, which has a 265-foot (81 m) central tower
flanked by two 150-foot (46 m) towers. Since October 1, 2012,
Lawrence Thomas Persico
Lawrence Thomas Persico has been the Bishop of Erie; Donald Trautman
Bishop Emeritus of the diocese.
According to the Association of Religion Date Archives, Erie
County had a total population of 280,843 people in 2000, of which
103,333 claimed affiliation with the Catholic Church, 40,301 with
mainline Protestant houses of worship, and 12,980 with evangelical
Based on findings from the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau’s American
Community Survey, the CDC’s mortality rate data, incarceration
rates, etc., the City of Erie was determined to be the worst city
to live for black Americans. Angela McNair (a representative of
Erie City School District
Erie City School District school board) disagrees with 24/7
Wall St., the Delaware-based financial news and opinion company that
ranked Erie as the worst city for black Americans. Erie-Times News
reviewed the data that 24/7 WALL ST used and found that their
Erie has been criticized for neglecting the poorer sections of the
city, where mostly blacks, Latinos, and refugees are located, with the
condemned McBride Viaduct bridge linking the two poorest sections.
Only 8 of the 173 police officers are minorities.
Main article: Economy of Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie Forge & Steel factory in Erie at 16th and Greengarden
Erie is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's primary access point to
Lake Erie, the Great Lakes, and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The city
emerged as a maritime center after the American Revolution, then as a
railroad hub during the great American westward expansion. Erie became
an important city for iron and steel manufacturing during the
Industrial Revolution and thrived well into the 20th century with
firms like Griswold Manufacturing, once the leader in cast iron
GE Transportation diesel-electric locomotive building
remains [clarification needed] (will be relocated to Fort Worth, Texas
in 2018) from the ranks of the large manufacturers in the early 21st
century, a more diverse mix of mid-sized industries has emerged. This
broader economic base includes not only smaller and more agile steel
and plastic plants, but also a vigorous service sector: health,
insurance and tourism.
Erie is the corporate headquarters of the Erie Insurance Group, and
Marquette Savings Bank.
Lord Corporation was founded and has major
operations in Erie. Along with GE and Erie Insurance, major
employers in the county include the county, state and federal
governments, as well as the Erie City School District.
Sunset at Presque Isle State Park; the peninsula is a major tourist
Over 10 percent of the USA's plastics are manufactured or
finished in Erie-based plastics plants. Erie is an emerging center
for biofuels and environmental research, producing over
45 million U.S. gallons of biofuel a year. Tourism plays
an increasingly important role in the local economy with over
4 million people visiting
Presque Isle State Park
Presque Isle State Park and other
attractions. Shoppers from Ohio, New York, and the Canadian province
of Ontario frequent the
Millcreek Mall and
Peach Street stores and
attractions as a result of Pennsylvania's tax exemption on clothing.
UPMC Hamot and
Saint Vincent Health System
Saint Vincent Health System are also major
employers in Erie. Although both of these hospitals had been
stand-alone Erie entities, Hamot merged with the University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2011 and Saint Vincent, which
affiliated with the
Cleveland Clinic in 2012, merged with
Highmark's Allegheny Health Network in 2013. The United States
Department of Veterans Affairs operates the Erie Veterans Affairs
Medical Center on East 38th Street. The
Shriners International has
Shriners Hospital for Children
Shriners Hospital for Children in Erie since 1927.
The Erie Water Works, which was incorporated in 1865 as the Erie Water
and Gas Company, includes a reservoir, two water treatment plants, and
an elaborate water works and pipe network that provides water for most
of the city and suburbs. Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy,
supplies electricity to the region, as well as the Northwestern
Pennsylvania Rural Electric Cooperative.
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable became the
region's cable television provider, after taking over Adelphia, and
also provides digital phone and high-speed internet to the region.
Local telephone and high speed internet service is also provided by
Sewage service in Erie is provided by the Erie Sewer Authority, and
many outlying townships have partnerships with the Sewer Authority for
service. The Authority cleans about 30−40 million US gallons
(150,000 m3) of wastewater every day.
The time and temperature number in Erie is 452-6311 and was originally
Verizon in October 2008 before being restarted by
a private individual two years later. The city of Erie and
Pennsylvania is located in area code 814. On December 16,
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted to split
the area code, which was to take effect February 1, 2012. The
North American Numbering Plan
North American Numbering Plan decided that northwest Pennsylvania
would receive the new code of 582. A local grassroots coalition began
organizing an opposition to the plan, and generated numerous petitions
for reconsideration. The PUC immediately voted to review their
decision and ordered additional public input hearings and technical
conferences as a response to the strong public outcry. In January
2011, the PUC announced that it was placing the entire area code split
plan on hold as NEUSTAR pushed the projected exhaustion date back two
years to 2015.
Arts and culture
Boston Store in downtown Erie
Erie is home to several professional and amateur performing-arts
groups. The most significant is the Erie Philharmonic, in continuous
existence since 1913 (with the exception of an interregnum during
World War II). This group of professional musicians also has a full
chorus and a Junior Philharmonic division that tours the area. The
Lake Erie Ballet is a professional company that performs well-known
programs throughout the year. The Erie Civic Music Association
attracts, sponsors, and books performances by professional musicians,
singers, entertainers, and ensembles from around the world.
Erie Art Museum
Erie Art Museum is the city's main art gallery, located in the Old
Customshouse on State Street. Its collection has an emphasis on folk
art and modern art and it hosts a popular blues and jazz concert
Erie Art Museum
Erie Art Museum also works on public art projects in an
effort to revitalize and improve the city. In 2000, the Erie Art
Museum created a project entitled GoFish, similar to CowParade. 95
fiberglass fish were decorated by Erie artists and placed throughout
the city. Patrons paid $3,000 for a fish and the proceeds went to
Gannon University's Scholarship Fund and the Erie Public Art Endowment
Erie Art Museum
Erie Art Museum created a similar public art project in
2004 that involved frogs rather than fish. In 2012, the Erie Art
Museum began a project to create forty artistic and functional bike
racks, designed and created by local artists. The museum's
intentions are to add color and interest to downtown Erie and to
promote bicycling, encouraging healthy lifestyles and environmental
Downtown Erie's historic and ornate Warner Theatre hosts a range of
performances. Renovated in the 1980s and again in 2007, the Warner
is the hub of Erie's Civic Center. The downtown area is the home of
the Erie Playhouse, one of the leading community theaters in the
country, and the third oldest community theater in the U.S. .
Since 2007, the annual
Roar on the Shore
Roar on the Shore motorcycle rally has taken
place in Erie.
Bicentennial Tower and the Niagara.
Along West 6th Street is Millionaires Row, a collection of 19th
century Victorian mansions. The
John Hill House
John Hill House is one of the notable
Erie Land Light
Erie Land Light stands at the foot of Lighthouse
Street. The lighthouse was built in 1818 and replaced in 1867.
The Bicentennial Tower, on
Dobbins Landing at the foot of State
Street, was built in 1995−96 to celebrate the city's bicentennial.
It is 187 feet (57 m) tall and gives a panoramic view of Lake
Erie and downtown. The Blasco Library and
Erie Maritime Museum
Erie Maritime Museum are its
neighbors to the east.
Presque Isle Downs opened on February 28, 2007,
and was the fourth slots parlor in the state and the first in Western
Pennsylvania. Table games opened at the casino on July 8,
Erie has also been the location for many movies, including the
hometown for fictional band "The Wonders" in That Thing You Do!
featuring Tom Hanks. It is also mentioned in the film Wall Street as
the location of the fictional company Anacott Steel. Erie is the
hometown of Train lead singer, Patrick Monahan. Erie is also the
hometown of Marc Brown, the author and illustrator of Arthur books and
Erie Times-News main office
Main article: Media in Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie is served by Erie Times-News, the city's daily newspaper as well
as Erie Reader, an alternative weekly newspaper. The Nielsen Company
ranks Erie as 144 out of the 210 largest television market in the
United States, as of the 2010−2011 report. The market is served
by stations affiliated with major American networks including WICU-TV
WJET-TV 24 (ABC),
WFXP 66 (FOX),
WSEE-TV 35 (CBS), and
WSEE-DT2 35.2 (CW). WQLN 54 is a member station of
PBS and also
broadcasts in London, Ontario. Cable companies available for Erie
include Charter Spectrum, DirecTV, and Dish Network. Erie is also
served by several AM and FM radio stations based in the city, and
dozens of other stations are received from elsewhere.
UPMC Park from the first-base side, overlooking downtown Erie
Main article: Sports in Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie plays host to a number of semi-pro and professional sports teams.
Erie SeaWolves play AA baseball in the Eastern League as an
affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The
Erie Otters play hockey in the
Ontario Hockey League. The Erie BayHawks are a member of the NBA G
Erie Illusion is a member of the
United States Women's
Football League. Hockey and basketball games are played at Erie
Insurance Arena, while
Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball games are held at UPMC
Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, Edinboro University, and
Penn State Behrend have active NCAA collegiate sports programs. The
local high schools compete in PIAA District 10 sporting events.
Cathedral Preparatory School
Cathedral Preparatory School hosts the annual high
school basketball tournament featuring top national teams; called the
Burger King Classic
Burger King Classic since 2010. Scholastic and intramural sports are
held at school and park facilities around the city. The Mercyhurst Ice
Center, the JMC Ice Arena, Family First Sports Park, and Erie Veterans
Memorial Stadium are many sports arenas and stadiums available in and
around the city.
Lake Erie Speedway, a 3⁄8-mile (0.6 km)
race track is located in Greenfield Township.
Horse racing is found at
Presque Isle Downs and Casino located near Summit Township.
NBA G League
Erie Insurance Arena
Erie Insurance Arena
Erie Commodores FC
McConnell Family Stadium
Erie Veterans Memorial Stadium
^ The first BayHawks franchise was established in 2008. A new
franchise replaced the relocated team that became the Lakeland Magic
See also: List of city parks of Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie's location along the shores of
Lake Erie provides a plethora of
outdoor activities throughout the year. The region's largest
attraction is Presque Isle State Park, drawing over four million
visitors a year. The region grows grapes and produces the third
largest amount of wine in the United States.
Aerial view of Presque Isle State Park. View is to the east-northeast.
Downtown Erie is surrounded by Presque Isle State Park, a National
Natural Landmark. The
Seaway Trail runs through downtown Erie
along the lakefront. The Tom Ridge Environmental Center, at the foot
of Presque Isle, features 7,000 square feet (650 m2) of exhibit
Other tourist destinations include the Bayfront Convention Center; the
Bicentennial Tower that overlooks Lake Erie; Dobbins Landing, a pier
in downtown Erie; the Erie Land Light, and the Erie Maritime Museum,
the home port of the Niagara. The 2,600,000-square-foot
(240,000 m2) Millcreek Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in
the United States, is located on
Peach Street in nearby Millcreek
Township. The indoor waterpark Splash Lagoon, in Summit Township,
is the largest indoor waterpark on the East Coast and third largest in
the United States. Waldameer Park, located at the base of Presque
Isle, is the fourth oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania, and the
tenth oldest in the United States.
See also: List of mayors of Erie,
Pennsylvania and List of Members of
Congress who have represented Erie, Pennsylvania
The Erie Municipal Building on State Street
The city of Erie is incorporated as a 3rd class city under
Pennsylvania law. Incorporated under an "optional charter", the
city is governed by a mayor–council government. The government
consists of a mayor, treasurer, controller and a seven-member city
council. They are elected to four-year terms, with the terms of the
council designed to be overlapping. The mayor is chief executive
and the city council prepares legislation and conducts oversight. The
city council meets in Mario S. Bagnoni Council Chambers at City Hall.
Joseph Schember (D) is the mayor of the city of Erie and was first
elected in 2017. As of March 2018[update], the Erie City Council
Sonya M. Arrington Council President
Kathleen A. Schaaf
In exchange for tax revenue, the city of Erie provides its residents
with police and fire protection. For separate quarterly payments, the
city provides garbage, recycling, water and sewer services. The Erie
Police Department provides law enforcement in the city and currently
has a complement of 173 sworn personnel under the direct supervision
of Chief of Police Daniel Spizarny. The City of Erie Fire Department
is a full-time career fire department and employs around
150 uniformed personnel. These employees are under the direct
supervision of Chief Guy Santone. The city currently operates out of
six fire houses and protects approximately 20 square miles
(52 km2). The city has five engines, one tower and one water
rescue unit. The city provides mutual aid to fire departments of
Millcreek Township, Summit Township and East County.
Erie is the largest city in Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district
and is currently represented in Congress by Republican Mike Kelly, who
was elected in 2010. Republican
Dan Laughlin of the 49th District
represents Erie in the
Pennsylvania State Senate. The city of Erie is
split by the 1st and 2nd Districts of the
Pennsylvania House of
Representatives and is represented by Democrats
Patrick Harkins and
Florindo Fabrizio, respectively.
See also: Higher education in Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie Public Schools enroll 12,527 students in primary and
secondary grades. The district has 23 public schools including
elementary, middle, high, and one charter school. Other than public
schools, the city is home to more than 40 private schools and
The City of Erie is served by one public high school, Erie High
School, plus three Catholic high schools: Cathedral Preparatory
School, Mercyhurst Preparatory School, and Villa Maria Academy. Erie
County is served by McDowell High School, Harborcreek High School, and
Iroquois High School in adjacent Millcreek Township, Harbocreek
Township, and Lawrence Park Township, respectively. Additional public
Erie County high schools include: Fairview High School, Girard High
School, Northwestern High School, General McLane High School, Seneca
High School, Fort LeBoeuf High School, North East High School, and
Corry High School.
LECOM's main campus
Erie is home to several colleges and universities.
Lake Erie College
of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), a large medical school, with branch
Bradenton, Florida and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, has the
largest enrollments of medical students in the country, with over
The Erie Maritime Museum, the Brig Niagara, and the Blasco Library.
Penn State-Erie, The Behrend College offers more than 40 degrees at
the associate, bachelor's and master's levels. It has an enrollment of
4400, with housing for 1800 on campus.
Other notable colleges in the Erie area include
Edinboro University of
Pennsylvania, Gannon University, a Catholic university, situated in
downtown Erie. Another Catholic institution, Mercyhurst University, is
in the southeast part of the city.
Ranking Erie city and county officials, as well as officials of the
Erie School District, began looking into the need for a community
college in the Erie area in 2006. As of January 2008[update],
county officials and representatives of Penn State-Behrend, Mercyhurst
and Gannon were in serious discussions expected to lead to the
creation of Northwest
Pennsylvania Community College by September
2009. Besides accreditation issues, officials must resolve whether to
use local four-year educational institutions or to build a separate
site in Summit Township for community college classes.
Erie is also home of the
Barber National Institute and its Elizabeth
Lee Black School, which provides services and education for children
and adults with mental disabilities. Erie is home to its main campus,
and it provides services in
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The
Achievement Center also serves the needs of children from birth to age
21 with physical and mental health disabilities.
The public libraries in Erie are part of the Erie County library
system. The Raymond M. Blasco, M. D. Memorial Library, named for its
benefactor, opened in 1996. It is the third largest library in
Pennsylvania. It is connected to the Erie Maritime Museum, both of
which are part of a bayfront improvement project that includes the
Bayfront Convention Center
Bayfront Convention Center and the
Bicentennial Tower on Dobbins
Main article: Transportation in Erie, Pennsylvania
Bayfront Connector connects
Interstate 90 with the bayfront.
McDonnell Douglas DC-9
McDonnell Douglas DC-9 to fly for
US Air arriving at Erie
Erie is well connected to the Interstate Highway System. There are six
"Erie exits" along Interstate 90, a major cross-country thoroughfare
Boston to Seattle. Erie is the northern terminus of
Interstate 79, which travels south to
Pittsburgh and, ultimately, West
Virginia. The western terminus for Interstate 86, also called the
"Southern Tier Expressway," is at
Interstate 90 between Erie and North
East, Pennsylvania. Interstate 86 continues east through New York to
Bayfront Connector runs from
Interstate 90 in
Harborcreek to the Bayfront Parkway and downtown Erie, along the east
side of the city, then connects to
Interstate 79 on the west side of
the city. Major thoroughfares in the city include 12th Street, 26th
Street, 38th Street and Peach Street. Peach is also a part of U.S.
Route 19, whose northern terminus is in Erie and continues south
eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Other major routes running
through Erie are
Pennsylvania Route 5, known as the
Seaway Trail and
is made up of parts of 6th Street, 8th Street, 12th Street, and East
Lake Road in the city, U.S. Route 20, which is 26th Street in the
city. The city is divided between east and west by State Street.
Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority
Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority
Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA) operates the city's
transit bus system, known as the 'e'. Buses run seven days a week in
the city, with trips out to other parts of the county occurring a
couple times a week. Intercity buses providing transportation between
Pittsburgh are operated by Greyhound Lines.
Service between Buffalo and
Cleveland is also provided by Lakefront
Lines. Both companies operate out of the Intermodal Transportation
Center, which opened in 2002 at the foot of Holland Street.
The former "Water Level Route" of the New York Central Railroad
travels directly through Erie. It is now the mainline for CSX freight
trains. The mainline of the Norfolk Southern Railway, originally built
by the Nickel Plate Railroad, also travels through Erie. At one time
Norfolk Southern trains ran down the middle of 19th Street, but were
removed in 2002. Passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak's
Lake Shore Limited
Lake Shore Limited out of Union Station at 14th and State Streets. The
Lake Shore Limited
Lake Shore Limited stops twice daily—one eastbound towards New York
City, and one westbound towards Chicago.
Erie International Airport
Erie International Airport / Tom Ridge Field (IATA code: ERI; IACO
code: KERI) is located 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the city and
hosts general aviation, charter, and airline service. Destinations
with non-stop flights out of Erie include
Chicago O'Hare International
Airport via United Airlines,
Philadelphia International Airport via
American Airlines and
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport via
Delta Air Lines. Erie International is in the midst of a
$80.5 million runway extension. The extension is slated to
increase the runway's length by 1,920 feet (590 m), for a total
runway length of 8,420 feet (2,600 m), "to meet safety
requirements" as well as allowing the airport to accommodate larger
The Port of Erie is located on Presque Isle Bay, a natural harbor
formed by Presque Isle. It offers some of the finest port facilities
for cargo shipping on the Great Lakes, with direct rail access. The
Pennsylvania Port Authority provides water taxi service
in the summer months between
Dobbins Landing and Liberty Park in
downtown Erie, and the Waterworks ferry landing on Presque Isle.
Erie has four official sister cities as designated by Sister Cities
Dungarvan, Ireland (2007)
Lublin, Poland (1999)
Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico (1973)
Zibo, Shandong, China (1985)
List of people from Erie, Pennsylvania
^ a b "Erie city, Pennsylvania". American Fact Finder. United States
Census Bureau. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
^ "Chapter MDCCCXLIV", p. 240
^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files".
United States Census Bureau. Retrieved
Aug 13, 2017.
^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9,
^ a b "Interesting Facts about Erie County". Erie County Government.
Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001):
Erie city, Pennsylvania". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau.
Retrieved March 14, 2016.
^ a b c "About Erie". The City of Erie. 2010. Archived from the
original on 2013-01-11. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
^ Speggen, Ben (2 May 2012). "Out of the Mist: The Perry 200
Erie Reader (Vol. 2, No. 9). Erie Reader.
Retrieved 1 January 2017.
^ History of Erie County, p. 503.
^ Miller, John (1909). A Twentieth Century History of Erie County,
Pennsylvania. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 60.
^ a b Nelson, pp. 103−104.
^ History of Erie County, pp 505−506.
^ "History of Erie County", pp. 299, 306.
^ Rhodes, James Ford (1900). History of the
United States from the
compromise of 1850. 3. New York, New York: Harper & Brothers.
^ a b "Erie's Blackest Day & Other Accounts of Phenomenal Weather"
(PDF). Erie County Historical Society. October 2008. p. 2.
Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved August
^ a b c "Erie Detailed History". City-data.com. Retrieved
^ "From the Editors". ErieReader.com. Flagship Multimedia, Inc.
October 1, 2013. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013.
Retrieved December 17, 2013. We complain about the weather. Or that
there's no culture here. Or that Erie's just plain ugly. The mistake
on the lake. Dreary Erie.
Miller, Jamie Lynn (December 2013). "A Cactus Story".
SaltMagazine.com. Salt Magazine. Archived from the original on
December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013. Originally from Erie,
Pennsylvania — Dreary Erie, says Ron, the Mistake on the Lake —
his nursing career led him to Kentucky ...
Wheaton, Kristan J. (June 21, 2013). "Erie's top competitor? Answer
may surprise you". IISMU.org. Institute for Intelligence Studies At
Mercyhurst University. Archived from the original on July 10, 2013.
Retrieved December 17, 2013. No, for us it is 'dreary Erie' or 'the
mistake on the lake.' We don't talk, much less brag, about how we've
changed and adapted to a difficult and complex world ...
^ Frederick, Robb (June 20, 2009). "Erie falls in award contest". Erie
Times-News. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
^ "Past Winners of the All-America City Award". National Civic League.
2011. Retrieved February 3, 2011. [permanent dead link]
^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".
United States Census
Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
^ "General Geology Report 32".
Pennsylvania Geological Survey.
^ a b City of Erie, Erie County (PDF) (Map). Type 5C. Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation. September 23, 2008. Retrieved February
2, 2011. [permanent dead link]
^ Kottek, Marcus; Greiser, Jürgen; et al. (June 2006). "World Map of
Köppen−Geiger Climate Classification". Meteorologische Zeitschrift.
15 (3): 261. Bibcode:2006MetZe..15..259K.
^ a b "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
^ "America's 20 Snowiest Cities, from Denver to Duluth, Buffalo to
Billings". The Daily Beast. December 27, 2010. Retrieved December 29,
^ "50-car pileup on snowy Erie highway". USA Today. Associated Press.
January 26, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2007.
^ "Accident Report". National Transportation Safety Board. Archived
from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
^ Craig, Tim (December 26, 2017). "Record-setting Christmas storm
buries Pennsylvania's fourth largest city under more than 4 feet of
snow". The Washington Post.
^ Fritz, Angela (December 26, 2017). "How this
Pennsylvania city got
more than 4 feet of snow in just 30 hours". The Washington Post.
^ "Congratulations Erie, Pa Snowiest Big City 2013–2014". Golden
^ "PA Erie INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Retrieved September 28, 2015.
^ "WMO Climate Normals for Erie/INT'L ARPT, PA 1961–1990". National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 28,
^ Erie, PA Population and Races USA.com. Retrieved Oct. 3, 2013
^ "Erie Population Profile". City-data.com. Retrieved
United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing".
Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 28,
^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July
1, 2013". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved June
^ "Erie Social and Demographic Information". helloerie.com. Archived
from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
^ "International Institute of Erie−Home". International Institute of
Erie. Retrieved 2007-06-15.
^ Church of the Nativity: Our Parish, retrieved 6-23-2008 Archived
2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Church of the Nativity". Retrieved 2007-05-25.
^ "Russian Orthodox Bishops". Russian Orthodox Outside Russia.
Archived from the original on 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
^ "Tah Erie". Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved
^ Massing, Dana (August 1, 2012). "New Catholic bishop named for
Erie". Erie Times-News. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
^ The ARDA Database has no precise figures on the membership of
African American churches, so it provides an estimate of
25,000 members. The two Russian orthodox churches list no
membership numbers. The Salvation Army lists over 4,000 members. Jews
were under 1,000 and Quakers showed no membership. Retrieved on
June 1, 2007.
^ Comen, Evan; Sauter, Michael B. (3 November 2017). "The Worst Cities
for Black Americans:Detailed Findings & Methodology". 24/7 WALL
ST. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
^ Comen, Evan; Sauter, Michael B. (3 November 2017). "The Worst Cities
for Black Americans". 24/7 WALL ST. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
^ "Angela Euell-McNair". ballotpedia. April 2018. Retrieved 12 March
^ Flowers, Kevin (11 Nov 2017). "Black Erie residents react to worst
city ranking". GoErie. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
^ Kimmelman, Michael (12 March 2018). "In Erie, One City Block Is a
Trek of Disrespect". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 March
^ McNeel, Rick. "Lord History". Lord Corporation. Archived from the
original on 2010-12-27. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
^ a b "Erie County, Top 50 Employers" (PDF). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. September 24, 2010.
Retrieved February 2, 2011. [permanent dead link]
^ Carroll, Jim (2006-07-06). "Biodiesel could fuel economy". Erie
Times-News. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
^ Bruce, David (February 2, 2011). "Erie hospital now officially UPMC
Hamot". Erie Times-News. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
^ Bruce, David (Oct 23, 2012). "Saint Vincent to affiliate with
Cleveland Clinic". Erie Times-News. Retrieved Jan 17, 2014.
^ Bruce, David (July 10, 2013). "Highmark, Saint Vincent formally
announce deal". Erie Times-News. Retrieved Jan 17, 2014.
^ "Imagine America Foundation". Archived from the original on
^ "Erie Sewer Department". The City of Erie. Archived from the
original on July 6, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
^ Leonardi, Ron (December 27, 2010). "Q & A with Patrick Jones,
who resurrected time and temperature phone line". Erie Times-News.
Retrieved July 22, 2011.
^ "PUC: 582 Named as New Area Code for Portions of 814 Changing in
2012" (Press release).
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
December 21, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
^ "PUC Agrees to Further Review Decision in 814 Area Code Relief Case,
Plans Additional Public Hearings, Technical Conferences" (Press
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. January 13, 2011.
Retrieved February 1, 2011.
^ "PUC puts 814 split on hold" (Press release).
Lake Erie Ballet". Retrieved 2007-05-25.
^ "Erie Civic Music Association". Retrieved 2007-05-25.
^ Hubert, Tom. "Baked Fish". Ceramics Monthly. Retrieved 27 September
^ Paris, Vanessa W. (2004). LeapFrog! the Ribbitting Tale: 2004 Lake
Erie Art Project. Erie, Pennsylvania: Erie Art Museum.
^ Erwin, Erica (14 September 2012). "
Erie Art Museum
Erie Art Museum unveils latest
public art project". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 28 September
^ "Bike Rack Public Art". Erie Art Museum. Archived from the original
^ "Warner Renovations Unveiled". WSEE-TV. March 23, 2007. Retrieved
^ a b Erie Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (2007). "ERIE
2007–2008 All Seasons Visitors Guide". Erie.
^ "Inventory of Historic Light Stations Pennsylvania
Lighthouses−Erie Land Lighthouse". The National Park Service.
Archived from the original on 2013-09-01. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
^ Miller, George; Thompson, Lisa (March 2, 2007). "$8.9 million
take". Erie Times-News. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
^ Guerriero, John (June 22, 2011). "Table games and equipment arrives
at Presque Isle Downs". Erie Times-News. Retrieved February 3,
^ "Local Television Market Universe Estimates" (PDF). Nielsen Company.
2010. p. 4. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
^ a b "Presque Isle State Park".
Pennsylvania Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
^ "TREC Features". Tom Ridge Environmental Center. Retrieved
^ "Largest Shopping Malls in the United States". Eastern Connecticut
State University. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011.
Retrieved February 3, 2011.
^ National Scenic Byways Program. "
Waldameer Park and WaterWorld".
Federal Highway Administration.
^ a b The
Pennsylvania Manual, p. 6–5.
^ "Erie City Council Members". City of Erie Government. Retrieved 26
Pennsylvania Manual, p. 3-162.
Erie City School District
Erie City School District Profile". GreatSchools.com. Retrieved
^ "Facts You Should Know About LECOM". LECOM. Archived from the
original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-26. Retrieved
2015-03-28. . Retrieved March 28, 2015.
^ Flowers, Kevin, DiVecchio to Visit Community College, Erie
Times-News, May 10, 2007, pg 6B; Exploratory trips have included
visits to Lehigh Carbon Community College near Allentown, Pennsylvania
in November 2006, and
Sinclair Community College
Sinclair Community College in
Dayton, Ohio in
^ We're All Positive About This: County Hopes to Have Community
College in September 2009, by Kevin Flowers, Erie Times-News, pp 1B,
2B, January 18, 2008
Barber National Institute http://www.barberinstitute.org
^ "History of the Library". Erie's Libraries. Retrieved
^ "Raymond M. Blasco Library". City of Erie. Archived from the
original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
^ Hofius, Sarah; Piet, Elizabeth (June 8, 2005). "Residents track
changes along old railroad line". Erie Times-News. Retrieved February
^ Myers, Valerie (January 29, 2011). "Bidding to begin on next phase
of Erie runway extension". Erie Times-News. Retrieved February 2,
^ "Erie Bayfront Transportation System". The Port of Erie. Archived
from the original on November 6, 2004. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
^ Miller, George (March 24, 2007). "Erie adds Irish Sister City". Erie
Times-News. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
^ "Erie". Miasta partnerskie Lublina [
Sister cities of Lublin] (in
Polish). City of Lublin. 2008. Archived from the original on February
7, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
"Chapter MDCCCXLIV: An Act to provide for laying out an establishing
towns and outlots within several tracts of land heretofore reserved
for public uses, situated respectively at Presqu'-Isle [sic], on Lake
Erie, at the mouth of French creek, at the mouth of the Conewango
creek, and at Fort le Bœuf". Laws of the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. 3. Philadelphia: John Bioren. 1810. pp. 233−240.
Retrieved August 28, 2010.
"Erie County Elected Officials" (PDF). Government of Erie County.
Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2011. Retrieved February
History of Erie County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: Warner, Beers and
Nelson, S.B. (1896). Nelson's Biographical Dictionary and Historical
Reference Book of Erie County, Pennsylvania. Erie, Pennsylvania: S.B.
Trostle, Sharon, ed. (2009). The
Pennsylvania Manual. 119. Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
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