This article was originally published in the Erie Times-News
By Ron Leonardi
Residential condominiums may fill the top floor of the Performing Artists Collective Alliance.
Work is nearing completion on a $10,000 restoration project of an original beveled, leaded glass window that graced the facade of an Erie building on State Street built in 1899.
Erie artist John Vahanian restored the half-moon-shaped window, and a crew from Erie-based Schutte Woodworking built a new custom-made mahogany frame for it.
The window and frame, which weigh about 450 pounds, will be placed on the west facade of the Performing Artists Collective Alliance building, 1505 State St., in mid-July, PACA founder and Executive Director Mark Tanenbaum said.
PACA is a nonprofit theater and performing arts center that rents studio space to artists and other groups.
Tanenbaum, 61, an Erie native, said he wants the PACA building to look beautiful and offer the community "something unique that no one else does."
"We are looking at our position in the community and in the arts community, and we are here to serve," he said. "We want Erie to look nice, we want this redevelopment that's happening in our community and the rejuvenation of our community to be successful."
When Tanenbaum founded PACA in 2011, he unveiled an ambitious 10-year plan. His goals for the building's fourth floor include construction of an archery range, new studio and storage space, and additional rehearsal space.
Tanenbaum envisions building 14 condominiums on the fifth floor, each about 750 square feet, to be rented to artists already working in the building or to "anybody who wants to live downtown."
Some of the 31 tenants who lease space in the PACA building include First Amendment Tees, ClaySpace, Attic Rehab and PACA theater.
"We want to be partners where you see other people working hard, fixing up their buildings and making changes downtown and adding new opportunities for so many people," Tanenbaum said. "Whether it's in the technology field, the arts field, the business field, or entrepreneurial, everybody is working in the same direction. In my opinion, this is the first time in my lifetime that I'm seeing all of the oars in the water all pulling in the same direction. PACA wants to be a proud player."