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Plywood Shutters Removed as PACA Introduces Renovation Project

March 4th, 2019, 12:00 AM

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Another redevelopment project in downtown Erie is almost ready to get underway.  It involves a 120-year-old building on State Street called the PACA Building.

 There's a lot of beautiful things happening inside the PACA building, but the outside hasn't been very attractive.   The PACA Building is home to 31 artist's studios and it's a showcase for the performing arts. Another theater production scheduled to open on Friday.


The PACA Building, at 1505 State Street, was built in 1899.  It's formerly known as the Mayer Building.  At 120 years old, it's a historic structure in the downtown.   Unfortunately, some of the windows date back to the day the building opened.   The windowpanes that didn't make it this far in time were replaced by plywood shutters that have been unsightly for many, many years.


The days of old, boarded-up windows will soon over at the PACA Building.  Tomorrow, new windows will be delivered.  They should all be installed by the end of the month.


It's not a cheap project for PACA, a non-profit organization that stands for Performing Artists Collective Alliance.  The new windows cost $107,000.  PACA did receive a $45,000 grant from HUD and $25,000 from the Erie Community Foundation.


PACA has been planning the improvements for two and a half years.  Mark Tanenbaum, President & Director, says the organization is proud to do its part in downtown Erie's revitalization.

"It's huge.  I can't underestimate the changes that this would do for our building, and for the downtown in general.  Nobody wants to go downtown and drive downtown and see a big, huge building with boarded-up windows.  We want to glass there.  We want the place to look sharp," he said.     

PACA has other improvements in mind for the future. They include a new elevator and a new roof.

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