Historic Structures

Reed Mansion, Erie Pennsylvania

Date added: February 10, 2017 Categories: Pennsylvania House Mansion

The Reed Mansion is located on the northwest corner of peach and West Sixth Streets, Erie, Pennsylvania, with, the First Presbyterian Church directly north on Peach Street and the Erie County Court House directly west on West Sixth Street. It faces the West park and across West Sixth Street to the south is the palatial residence of the late Mrs. Annie Wainwright Scott Strong.

The house was designed by General Charles Reed and built about 1849 by him as a home. His grandfather Col. Seth Reed, a Revolutionary War soldier. was the first white settler of the City of Erie, Pennsylvania.

It ia a two-story (with, attic and basement) building, 71' 10" long 68' 5" wide and 5 high including the skylight. The height of the main building is about 37' the length and width of the structure vary, it being of irregular design.

The front of the building is of ionic Greek revival construction. Four massive fluted Ionic columns rise to the height of the two stories and support the portico roof. The portico cornice is a continuance of the cornice which encircles the house.

The columns rest upon Attic bases. The column and pilaster caps as well as the ornamentation suggests the Erechtheum in Athens. From the grade line to the top of these magnificent columns is about 30'. The entrance flight of steps leads to a platform which in turn leads to the central doorway. The six steps to the platform are placed in three directions, one set to the north, one to the south and one set to the east. Bronze figures holding lights ornament the east steps. The comers of the house are ornamented by flat Grecian imitation pilasters, with moulded Ionic cap. Flat pilasters ornament the wall at the rear of the platform (rising full height}. Eleven windows face the east. A one-story bay window is on the south side. On the north side is a two-story bay window, also a small porch. There are seven chimneys with caps, designed in keeping with the rest of the house. Over the central portion of the house, a cast iron railing encloses a sky-light room 46' x 22' constructed on lines resembling a ship's interior. The central skylight is 22' x 10', and there are three smaller skylights.

Most of the interior of the house has been remodeled to accomodate the needs of the present owners. The plan of the three floors shows a central oval room. The basement plan shows this oval room divided into three sections, also five other rooms.

The entrance hall has a stairway placed to the north. A spiral stairway at the rear also leads to the second and third floors.

The residence has elaborately ornamented ceilings, mantels, wainscotings and other portions. Some of the rooms, the one designated as the chapel especially show excessive ornamentation.