Renaissance Centre (Erie, Pennsylvania)
North and west sides of Renaissance Centre, July 2010
|Former names||G. Daniel Baldwin Building
Erie Trust Company Building
|Tallest in Erie, Pennsylvania since 1928[I]|
|Architectural style||Art Deco, Renaissance Revival|
|Location||1001–1007 State Street
|Height||198 ft (60 m)|
|Floor area||150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2)|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Dennison & Hirons|
|Official name: Erie Trust Company Building|
|Designated:||August 10, 2000|
Renaissance Centre, formerly known as the Erie Trust Company Building and the G. Daniel Baldwin Building, is a 198-foot (60 m) skyscraper located in Erie, Pennsylvania in the United States. Since its completion in 1928, the 14-story building has been the tallest in Erie. Renaissance Centre was listed on National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
Renaissance Centre is located in downtown Erie at the intersection of State Street, the main north–south throughfare in Erie, and East 10th Street. It is the city's sole skyscraper and dominants the city skyline. Renaissance Centre has a height of 198 feet (60 m) and is the tallest building in Erie, Pennsylvania; the tallest structure in Erie is the steeple of St. Peter Cathedral at 265 feet (81 m). The building itself is 82 1⁄2 feet (25.1 m) deep, 161 feet (49 m) wide, and has a footprint of 1⁄3 acre (0.1 ha). The first three floors on the north and west fronts of Renaissance Centre are faced with Indiana limestone while the remaining floors are clad in "light buff-colored" brick. Its main entrance on State Street consists of multiple, set-back arches that rise one-and-a-half stories up the facade. The building's name is engraved on a faux-limestone sign mounted above the archway. Starting at the 11th floor, the building is setback. Unlike the north and west, the south and east facades are relatively unadorned; the central window bays on the southern side are recessed causing the entire building to take on a "shallow 'U'-shape" when viewed from above.
Renaissance Centre has a total floor space of 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) spread across its 14 floors. Originally, the first floor comprised the bank lobby, but has been divvied up into an atrium and retail spaces for businesses. Six murals by New York-painter Edward A. Turnbull depicting historical events from Erie history were located on the first floor; five remain, but were hidden by renovations. The 14th floor offers views of Presque Isle State Park, Lake Erie and, on clear days, Long Point, Canada.
In 1943, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania auctioned off the Erie Trust Company Building in a bankruptcy court and was acquired by the Tenth Street Building Corporation, a local real estate company, for $377,000. The building was renamed after company's president at the time, G. Daniel Baldwin, in 1945; Baldwin died the next year. National Bank and Trust continued to lease the first floor, along with offices on the third, until it was taken over by First National Bank in 1951; First National maintained a presence in the Baldwin Building until the 1980s. Despite its owners operating a "large and profitable" business, the occupancy in the building decreased to less than 30 percent in 1970s and 1980s.
The G. Daniel Baldwin Building was, again, put up for auction in June 1996. The Tenth Street Building Corporation donated the building to the Greater Erie Charity Golf Classic where it sold to local developer Tom Kennedy for $315,000 with the proceeds going to charity. Kennedy also owns and oversaw the development of the Palace Hardware Building into apartments and a business center. The Baldwin Building was renamed Renaissance Centre as part of the effort to revitalize the building; a new sign, fashioned to resemble its limestone cladding, was installed over the old name. From its purchase in 1996 to late-1998, Renaissance Centre underwent a $2.2 million restoration. Renaissance Centre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 10, 2000.
- List of tallest buildings in Pennsylvania
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Erie County, Pennsylvania
- "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Kennedy 1999, sec. 7, p. 1.
- Federal Writers' Project 1939, p. 54.
- "Renaissance Centre". Emporis. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "St. Peter Cathedral". Emporis. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Kennedy 1999, sec. 7, p. 2.
- Guerriero 1998, p. 9A.
- Federal Writers' Project 1939, p. 59.
- Kennedy 1999, sec. 7, p. 2; sec. 8, p. 2.
- Guerriero 1999, p. 1A.
- Kennedy 1999, sec. 8, p. 3.
- Geurriero 1998, pp. 1A, 9A.
- Poisson, Lindsey (January 3, 1999). "Renaissance Centre owner seeks investors". Erie Times-News. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Federal Writers' Project (1939). Erie: A Guide to the City and County. William Penn Association.
- Guerriero, John (October 7, 1998). "Renaissance Centre proving true to its name". Erie Morning News. pp. 1A, 9A.
- Kennedy, Thomas (October 1999). "Erie Trust Company Building". National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
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