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Overview

Introduction to Erie, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania lake port city of Erie is located in the northwest corner of the state along the shore of the lake for which it is named, Lake Erie, a name which is derived from the Eriez Indian tribe. Situated about halfway between the cities of Cleveland, Ohio (to the west) and Buffalo, N.Y. (to the east), both of which are about 95 miles away, Erie was once known as the Gem City but has more recently been come to be known as the Flagship City due to the presence of the U.S. Brig Niagara, flagship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. The city is well connected to the Interstate Highway system, receiving the benefit of service from Interstates I-90, I-86, and I-79. Other major roads servicing Erie include U.S. Routes 19 and 20; and Pennsylvania State Highway 5.

First settled in the latter half of the 18th century by both French and English settlers, Erie was founded in 1795 and immediately became a significant port which focused initially on the salt trade. One of the city's proudest historical moments occurred in 1813, when Commodore Oliver Perry, whose ships were mostly built in Erie, defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. After the American Revolution, the city emerged as a maritime center and later as a railroad hub during America's westward expansion. By the 20th century, Erie had transformed itself to a large industrial center, focusing largely on iron and steel manufacturing. No longer reliant on heavy manufacturing, Erie today has begun to attract a more diverse mix of mid-sized industries. Small steel and plastic plants have emerged as driving forces in the city's economy, along with a robust service sector largely focused on tourism.

Erie Attractions

Erie is brimming with places of interest for both culture and recreation. One of the region's major cultural arts centers is the Warner Theatre. Commissioned by the Warner Brothers in 1929, the venue is home to several professional and amateur performing-arts groups, the most significant of which is the Erie Philharmonic, one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the country. The Erie Art Museum, housed in a former U.S. Customs House, features a wealth of changing art exhibits focusing largely on modern art and folk art. The Erie Children's Museum, geared towards visitors aged 2 to 12, offers a wide variety of interactive displays in the areas of science and the humanities. Presque Isle State Park boasts 7 miles of beaches and 11 miles of hiking trails, and offers cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, and ice-skating in winter. Annual events in the city include the Erie Summer Festival of the Arts, the Wine Country Harvest Festival, and "Celebrate Erie," a large urban arts and entertainment festival which takes place in mid-August.

Erie boasts a long history of various semi-pro and professional sports teams. Current residents of the city include the Erie SeaWolves, a minor league baseball team which plays in the Eastern League. The SeaWolves are the Class double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers. Also in town are the Erie Otters, a junior community-based hockey team playing in the Ontario Hockey League. The Otters play their games in the city's Tullio Arena. Erie is also home to the Erie Freeze, a professional indoor football team which plays in the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA).

People

Total Population 100,678
Male Share of the Population 49%
Female Share of the Population 51%
Senior Citizens 13.4%
Employed Population 16+ 43,006
Age of the Population 34

Families

% of people married 36.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 21.6%
Median Earnings25+ $27,325
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $15,432
Median Earnings With High School Degree $23,813

Wealth

Median Family Income $42,488
% Above Poverty Level 73.4%
% Below Poverty Level 26.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 17 minutes
% Working from Home 3%
% Walking and Biking to Work 7.1%
% Using Public Transportation 4%

Housing

People Living Alone 36.1%
Median Gross Rent $648
Median House Value $85,900

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 27.1%
US/American 0.1%
English 5.7%
Irish 15.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Erie Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 80 miles SW of Buffalo, New York
County Erie
Metro Area Erie
Standard Zip Codes 16501, 16502, 16503, 16504, 16505, 16506, 16507, 16508, 16509, 16510, 16511, 16515, 16541, 16544, 16546, 16550, 16563, 16565
P.O. Box Zip Codes 16512, 16514
Company Zip Codes 16522, 16530, 16531, 16532, 16533, 16534, 16538, 16553, 16554
Phone Area Codes 814
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.129
Longitude -80.085

Erie Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station ERIE AP
Distance 5.9 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 34 F
Apr Temp 38 to 56 F
Jul Temp 64 to 80 F
Oct Temp 46 to 61 F
Annual Precip 42.7 inches
Station CORRY
Distance 27.5 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 32 F
Apr Temp 34 to 58 F
Jul Temp 57 to 80 F
Oct Temp 40 to 60 F
Annual Precip 47 inches
Station MEADVILLE 1 S
Distance 34.6 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 32 F
Apr Temp 34 to 57 F
Jul Temp 58 to 81 F
Oct Temp 40 to 61 F
Annual Precip 44.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Erie, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Belle Valley (16509)

Perry Square (16507)

Presque Isle (16506)

South Erie (16508)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Fairview 2,668 $74,722
Girard 3,054 $71,588
McKean 453 $63,250

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Erie Public Libraries

Library
Erie County Public Library
"BLASCO MEM LIB, 160 E FRONT ST"
Erie, Pennsylvania
(814) 451-6900
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Erie Hospitals

MILLCREEK COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
5515 PEACH STREET
(814) 864-4031
Emergency Service: Yes

SAINT VINCENT HEALTH CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
232 WEST 25TH STREET
(814) 452-5000
Emergency Service: No

HAMOT MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
201 STATE STREET
(814) 877-6000
Emergency Service: Yes

Erie VA Medical Center
(VA)
135 East 38 Street
(814)868-8661 or (800)274-8387
Emergency Service:

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Erie High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

CENTRAL HS
814-874-6200
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,283 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.1

MCDOWELL SHS
814-835-5403
Serves 1,112 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.7

EAST SHS
814-874-6400
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,001 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.9

NORTHWEST PA COLLEGIATE ACAD
814-874-6300
Serves 776 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.6

STRONG VINCENT HS
814-874-6500
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 730 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.1

IROQUOIS JSHS
814-899-7643
Serves 612 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.2

SENECA HS
814-824-3400
Serves 562 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.4

PERSEUS HOUSE CS OF EXCELLENCE
814-874-6950
A Charter School.
Serves 211 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.6

NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGI
814-874-6300
A Charter School.
Serves 153 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.9

PENNSYLVANIA GLOBAL ACADEMY CS
814-835-5522
A Charter School.
Serves 144 students.

NORTH COAST SCHOOL
814-870-9002
Serves 51 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17

Additional Details
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Historic Erie

photo

City of Erie c1900.

Select a photo to view (Source):

City of Erie c1900.

Coal trestle and car dumping plant ca. 1900

Penna. Ry. Pennsylvania Railroad (coal trestle) ca. 1900

Additional Resources
Info for Erie Government Officials


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