The Erie Society for Genealogical Research has moved its office to the newly opened Thomas B. Hagen History Center, in the Carriage House of the Watson-Curtze Mansion at 356 West Sixth Street.
The grand opening gala was held on August 29th. It was a lovely evening. The renovated Carriage House is beautiful, although I was sad to see that it appears the research space in the new reading room is quite a bit smaller than the old space on State Street. As a volunteer in the Archives, and a member of the ESGR, I recall many times when the old reading room was filled to capacity, so I do wonder if we’ll end up fighting each other for a chair when the new space is open for researchers, Thursdays through Saturdays, 11am to 5pm. Note that hours have changed and researchers no longer have access to the library on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly! Also, if you need to research in the library’s microfilm collection, you may want to hold off for a bit, or at least call before stopping by, as they hadn’t moved the microfilm readers as of yesterday.
The ESGR’s office space is, as I understand it, located on the second floor of the Carriage House, which I did not have a chance to see the evening of the Gala. I believe there may also be a larger room of the size needed to hold our monthly membership meetings; however, I’m not sure the second floor can accommodate visitors who have trouble with stairs, as, unlike the old history center, there is no elevator. [Is it just me, or is this a strange and rather major oversight?] The first floor reading room doesn’t appear large enough for our meetings, particularly those featuring a guest speaker, but I could be entirely wrong on this point as I’d had at least a glass and a half of champagne before I took the tour 🙂 At any rate, the staff at the historical society has done a remarkable job with this move, although I fear they may be too exhausted at this point to enjoy the results of their preternatural efforts. It’s a gorgeous space, and will be a joy to work in. And, no small matter, parking is ample and free!
The Erie news did a nice story on the new space: http://www.goerie.com/gala-celebrates-hagen-history-center-renovations#
While a volunteer of both the ECHS and the ESGR, I speak for neither of those organizations, and the opinions and observations expressed here are entirely my own.