Erie County Public Library

It helped lead the revitalization of Erie's bayfront neighborhood.

September 21, 2016

The Atlantic has shined a beacon on the revitalization of Erie, Pennsylvania, in a story by Deborah Fallows about the Erie County library.

Fallows explains how when the city council in Erie, Pennsylvania, made the controversial decision to move the library to a derelict location at the seaport 20 years ago, it was the first step in revitalizing the city’s formerly rundown Bayfront District.

The new Blasco Library building opened in 1996, and has since been joined by a number of attractions that have made the Lake Erie waterfront a newfound tourist destination.

 Erie County Public Library

The library sits on Presque Isle Bay, which is also home to the Erie Maritime Museum and the Bicentennial Tower, as well as boats offering fishing charters, many new restaurants, hotels, a miniature golf course, and a convention center. The Presque Isle State Park has plenty of beaches and great views of the Lake Erie. The Victorian Princess paddle wheel steam ship embarks on brunch, dinner, and happy hour cruises.

 Erie County Public Library

But a highlight for most visitors is the tall mast ship that is located directly in full view of the facility's large bayfront windows.

The Flagship Niagara, a replica of a ship that helped the Americans defeat the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, is moored at a dock directly in front of the library. As The Atlantic notes, librarians will announce the arrival of the ship over the PA system as it pulls into shore.

 Erie County Public Library

An installation called “Aquatic Dancers” by John Vahanian hangs in the library’s atrium, and a Lalique glass fish sculpture is on permanent display.

 Erie County Public Library

This story has been updated to include the name of the author whose story on the library was published by The Atlantic.

Christopher Tkaczyk is the Senior News Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ctkaczyk.

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