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OCT/NOV 2013

Erie’s Treasures

Union Square, The Achievement Center and the Armory

Bostwick Design Partnership Designed for growth

Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design Civically engaged for the future of Erie

Local & Talented

ARCHITECTS Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Thomas F. Grosz Architect

Special architecture for everyday living

Roth Marz Partnership

Pathway to purposeful design

Weber Murphy Fox

Transformed by technology

eriepa.com


ERCGP Board of Directors Donald Birx, Ph.D. John Bloomstine Carl M. Carlotti Terrence Cavanaugh Rosanne Cheeseman Gary L. Clark John Dill Mary L. Eckert Scott Eighmy Jeffrey Evans, CFP James Fiorenzo Barbara Haggerty Thomas C. Hoffman II Timothy Hunter Charles G. Knight John P. Leemhuis, Jr. Marsha Marsh James E. Martin, Chair

SAVE THE DATE

Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership Upcoming Signature Events

11-7

Annual Meeting

4-10

Celebration of Excellence

5-21 7-26 9-24

Thursday, November 7, 2013 Ambassador Conference Center Thursday, April 10, 2014 Bayfront Convention Center

Golf Outing

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Peek’n Peak Resort and Spa

Beer on the Bay

Saturday, July 26, 2014 Liberty Park

ERCGP Staff Barbara C. Chaffee President/CEO Jacob A. Rouch Vice President, Economic Development

Robert Mazza Marlene D. Mosco Jack A. Munch Neil Parham James W. Riley James Rutkowski, Jr. Matthew Schultz Nicholas Scott, Jr. Gretchen Seth Ronald A. Steele Keith Taylor, Ph.D. David Tullio Russell S. Warner Michael Weber Scott A. Whalen, Ph.D. Mary Beth Wilcher Julie Wollman, Ph.D. Scott Wyman

Douglas M. Massey Manager, Erie Business Action Team Cathy Noble Events Coordinator

Claudia K. Thornburg Vice President, Chamber

Benjamin C. Pratt Director of Research

Linda C. Robbins Financial Officer

Susan M. Ronto Membership Coordinator

Joelyn J. Bush Director of Marketing & Communications

Nadeen M. Steffey Account Executive

Sabrina Chirco Economic and Workforce Development Specialist Editor Joelyn J. Bush Contributing Writers Mary Birdsong Lori Nikolishen John Chacona Design PAPA Advertising PAPAadvertising.com Advertising Information: Nadeen Steffey, Account Executive (814) 454.7191 x139 nsteffey@eriepa.com

Fall Member Fest

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Shades Beach eriepa.com


Photo by Rosanne Cheeseman

Erie Magazine OCT/NOV 2013

Professional Perspective 2 New Investors 4 FE ature Article s Erie’s Treasures 10 Union Square, The Achievement Center and the Armory by Tricia Wood DeMarco Bostwick Design Partnership Designed for growth by John Chacona

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Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design 14 Civically engaged for the future of Erie by Mary Birdsong Thomas F. Grosz Architect Special architecture for everyday living by Mary Birdsong

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Roth Marz Partnership Pathway to purposeful design by Mary Birdsong

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Weber Murphy Fox Transformed by technology by John Chacona

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IN e ach issue Organizational Updates Chamber Economic Development Growth Partnership

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Consistent Feature 18 Health: What’s the big deal about diabetes? Regional Initiative Updates Destination Erie: Next Steps Erie Vital Signs

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Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Professional Perspective

Cities as a Lab: Designing the Innovation Economy by Brooks Rainwater, Director, Public Policy at The American Institute of Architects

The newly released American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cities as a Lab: Designing the Innovation Economy report demonstrates how design can drive innovative approaches to the changing needs of American cities. The world is increasingly urbanizing with increasing numbers of people moving to cities, and the US Conference of Mayors reports that U.S. metro regions alone comprise over one-third of the world’s 100 largest economies. The evidence of this shift of economic power is demonstrated by important work happening in cities, which have become a laboratory for innovation and change. Cities as a Lab highlights the fact that urban architectural experimentation is influencing the future direction of our cities and demonstrates the impacts of innovative design and policy solutions on the wider economy. Case studies from coast to coast illustrate this phenomenon: • Boston Innovation District: Pioneering designers reshaped derelict wharves into a multidisciplinary hub for innovation and manufacturing, attracting 200 companies and 4,000 jobs to date. • Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Research parks experiment with layouts that create opportunities through proximity and knowledge exchange. • Downtown Project, Las Vegas: An urban experiment in increasing meaningful chance encounters and thus productivity. • 5M Project, San Francisco: A budding intentional community of over 1,000 art and technology firms inverts the development process to reinvent underused offices. • TechShop: In tech hubs from the Bay Area to Pittsburgh, tinkerers launch a resurgence in American product design and small-scale manufacturing.

October/November 2013

• The Plant, Chicago: A vertical farm feeds off city waste, growing produce and small food businesses in an abandoned meatpacking plant. • Flexible Offices: At corporations, start-up nonprofits, and the federal government alike, 60-80% of office employees applaud new collaborative plans that enable effective work in a connected, paperless era. • City Streets: A fresh focus on street design gives architects a new canvas for creative placemaking, reclaiming sidewalks and streets as social spaces. • Temporary Architecture: Architects use pop-up buildings to experiment with new forms and ideas, from cuttingedge modular solar houses to an instant market. • EcoDistricts: Districts can adopt innovative policies quickly, but are large enough to have significant impact without delaying implementation. Whether transforming existing space, creating new urban infill approaches, or reacting nimbly to changing social and technological environments, design serves as the critical linchpin in a society where technology continues to grow and influence our everyday lives. The ability to overlay data measurement systems into the built environment is changing our relationship with physical space, providing previously unimagined observations about the urban fabric. Design excellence is the very driver for those cities that have seized the moment to shape the future. Read Cities as a Lab to learn more. For more information, please visit: http://www.aia.org/localleaders


Local & Talented Architects Personalized customer service every time you call uPmc for Life.

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UPMC for Life has a contract with Medicare to provide HMO and PPO plans. Enrollment in UPMC for Life depends on contract renewal. UPMC for Life is a product of and operated by UPMC Health Plan, Inc., UPMC Health Network, Inc., and UPMC Health Benefits, Inc. *We are available to take your call: October 1 - February 14 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week and February 15 September 30 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. eriepa.com Y0069_14_1063 Accepted


Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

New Investors INVESTOR LEVEL Bankable Consulting LLC

Bankable Consulting LLC provides comprehensive fundraising campaign management services to nonprofit and community development organizations. We can help you create and capitalize on effective methodologies that will improve the impact of your organization on your audience and the community. Mr. James W. Martin Erie, PA 16507 (814) 449-5530 / www.bankableconsultingllc.com

Brooks Landscaping

Family owned and operated for 35 years providing high quality landscaping services to the entire Erie County area. Mr. William Brooks 5263 Knoyle Road / Erie, PA 16510 (814) 899-5786 / www.brookslandscapeinc.com

Deugro USA

Keys to Total Wellness

Suzanne is a board certified health coach and a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Specializing in corporate environments, the counseling services are designed to help companies reduce their health care costs by designing & delivering group and individual programs while utilizing seminars and workshops. Ms. Suzanne St. John 1670 Winslow Drive / Erie, PA 16509 (814) 449-3355 / www.keystototalwellness.com

Niche Team LLC

Strategic planning, marketing and training for small businesses. Ms. Jill Slomski 2233 Ebco Drive / Erie, PA 16506 (814) 397-5637 / www.niche-team.com

Deugro specializes in over-dimensional and heavy cargoes and is a leading provider of International freight forwarding services, specializing in turnkey projects and complicated cargo moves to and from major industrial sectors located throughout the globe. Deugro has offices located in over 35 countries. Now in its 89th year of operation, Deugro remains a highly specialized freight forwarder, offering a diversified portfolio of services that include air, sea and land transportation services, as well as supply chain management to a variety of clients located in every corner of the globe.

Pfeffer Insurance Agency Inc.

Ms. Anita Bush 5340 Fryling Road / Suite 102 / Erie, PA 16510 (814) 520-8152 / www.deugro.com

Pic A Pose Photo Booth

An independent Insurance Agency providing auto, home, life, health, business, and long-term care insurance packages to fulfill the needs of customers. Proudly serving the insurance needs of 9,000 loyal customers in the Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York area. Mr. Michael Langen 332 Holland Street / Erie, PA 16507 (814) 870-3109 / www.pfefferinsurance.com

You deserve the BEST photo booth! Unlimited color as well as black & white photo strips are available; fits up to 10 guests; lots of fun props. Ideal for corporate events, birthday parties and weddings. Upgrade to include video messages! Ms. Tammy Johnson 2732 East 27th Street / Erie, PA 16510 (814) 897-5300 / www.picaposeerie.com

October/November 2013


Local & Talented Architects

St. Martin Center Inc.

St. Martin Center is a non-profit social service agency providing emergency financial assistance, food, clothing, housing, counseling and daycare. Recently has expanded to include a revenue generating catering operation called Catering on Parade. Mr. David Gonzalez 1701 Parade Street / Erie, PA 16503 (814) 452-6113 / www.stmartincenter.org

Sunrise Senior Living

At Sunrise Senior Living, everything we do is designed to champion the quality of our residents’ lives. It’s been our commitment, privilege & joy. We believe in celebrating life while also building relationships and personalized care which enables our residents to live their lives the way they want. Ms. Brooke Dankenbring 1012 West Bayfront Parkway / Erie, PA 16507 (814) 455-1630 / www.sunriseseniorliving.com/communities

TBaer Financial

Tom Baer of TBaer Financial is a fully licensed retirement and income planner with a focus on preservation of assets and conservative growth. Since 1986, Tom has provided excellent service while helping his clients build, protect and preserve their assets. Mr. Tom Baer 208 East Bayfront Parkway | Suite 202 / Erie, PA 16507 (814) 459-6669 / www.tbaerfinancial.com

US Health Works

The Erie Medical Center offers employers comprehensive occupational healthcare, with integrated specialty care services. Clinical teamwork provides excellent patient care and great customer service while containing costs through workers’ compensation disability management programs. Conveniently located across the street from the Trinity Cemetery on West Lake Road, we are proud to serve our community and strive to strengthen our relationship with you as both your occupational healthcare and Urgent Care provider of choice. Ms. Amy Reinhardt 3010 West Lake Road / Erie, PA 16505 (814) 833-2385 / www.ushealthworks.com/Erie-Center.htm

eriepa.com

TURN YOUR B-TO-B WEBSITE INTO A POWERFUL, LEAD GENERATING TOOL Register today for a FREE WORKSHOP to learn how you can integrate lead intelligence, search marketing, and e-marketing to deliver qualified leads. WHEN

Thursday Nov. 14 • 11am – 1pm

WHERE Bel-Aire Clarion Hotel • Erie, PA 1 hr. workshop followed by open table discussions, lunch provided.

LEADSDISCOVERED will show you how you can use your existing website to: Track and identify anonymous visitors Monitor website lead activity Alert you to new prospects Improve your website search ranking Integrate email and social marketing You’ll also hear how you can improve your paid search program, run competitor analysis and even integrate new leads into your CRM.

REGISTER TODAY AT www.LeadsDiscovered.com

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COO U TOENA D LC U O PDATE L U M NS R GNATNRIIZBATI

Organizational Updates Chamber

Economic Development

by Claudia Thornburg vice president, Chamber

by Jake Rouch vice president, Economic Development

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. In humans it is the long term maintenance of wellbeing and in business it is the cycle of upward and downward movements in the level of economic activities.

As a member of the Chamber – or as a casual reader of this magazine – one function or service you may not fully appreciate is the work done on a weekly basis by our Business Action Team – Doug Massey and Sabrina Chirco.

an opportunity to address one of their “clients” needs with the expertise of another “client”.

Every week, Doug and Sabrina set-up proactive meetings with existing Erie County businesses to find out what challenges or needs the business has so they can get to work providing potential solutions for the business to consider utilizing. These “proactive” meetings are in addition to the many meetings that are generated by phone call and e-mail requests from businesses who have worked with Doug and Sabrina already and know they are solution providers.

Each of you has a great resource to increase your “B2B” activity and/or address your own challenges or needs. That improvement journey begins with a simple e-mail to Doug Massey (dmassey@ eriepa.com) or Sabrina Chirco (schirco@ eriepa.com) requesting a visit with them so they can learn more about what your business has to offer.

Our architect and design firms featured in this magazine are prime examples of this process. You will read how radical rethinking, transformation, historic preservation and doing things never done before have all played in to each firms’ sustainability cycle. We recently chatted with a member experiencing tremendous success in his business. He never imagined that he would be sustained through his current program of work or be working in areas of the country that are now providing great profit opportunities; like so many other local professional service providers who have reached past their old customer boundaries in order to enhance their revenue positions. Conversely, there are out of town firms who have reached into our region to secure business and be sustained. Here at the ERCGP we are sustained through our core members who have supported us for decades. Member attrition is part of our cycle as are new business relations born from that core and local entrepreneurism. We look forward to the opportunity that is the old GAF site, we relished in Lord Corporation’s revival of the expansive Bush Industries building. Sustainability is a cyclical path, just as most things in nature live through positive and negative consequence. Survival is witnessed through life, death, adaptation and perseverance. We all must strive to adapt to the ever changing conditions that exist in the environment, the social state of affairs and current economic demands. “If you walk continuously along a straight path, you will never be found again.” October/November 2013

What is important to note, however, is that Doug and Sabrina do not just connect businesses to governmentbased programs, economic development organizations, and work force development service providers. The Business Action Team is also regularly connecting many businesses to each other. Whether it is professional services or manufacturing supply chain or specialized retail – if Doug and Sabrina know what you do, they will refer you whenever the opportunity arises. That is why you should set up a time to meet with the Business Action Team – because Doug and Sabrina cannot refer you unless they actually know what you do. One interesting finding we have had over years of visits with local business leaders is that there remains a great deal more we can all do together from a businessto-business standpoint. Our Business Action Team attempts every day to make those “B2B” connections – providing

When those connections happen, we all win.

The entire northwest Pennsylvania regional business community faces challenges from the ever-changing, hyper-competitive global economy. Why address them alone when you have a team of professionals at the ERCGP – and a large, diverse universe of businesses all around you – who want you to help you succeed? So what are you waiting for? Put us all to work!

Keep up to date with all of our organizational happenings at eriepa.com


Local O R& G ATalented N I Z ATI O NAArchitects L U PDATE S

Growth Partnership by Barbara Chaffee president/CEO Common Core State Standards – THE FACTS on College & Career Readiness Recently, there has been great activity f rom nu merou s advoc ac y groups misrepresenting and distorting Common Core Standards. • Common Core State Standards ARE NOT a federal mandate – the driving force behind the development of standards was the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. • Common Core Standards ARE NOT a top-down effort to instill students with any ideology. • 45 states and D.C. have chosen to implement Common Core. • Stakeholders across the states developed and produced the standards. The common core standards according to Achieve and other sources are: • Common Core is an elevated set of standards—not a curriculum; • Aligned with college and workforcetraining expectations; • Rigorous in content and include the application of knowledge through higher-order skills; • Built on strengths and lessons taken from state standards; • Informed by standards in topperforming countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in the global economy; • Evidence–based, clear, and aligned across a child’s K-12 education. FACTS: • Only 34% of U.S. 4th graders in reading and 35% of 8th graders in math scored proficient or advanced on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2011.

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• 15-year-olds from the U.S. ranked 14th in reading and 25th in math, internationally. • Within the 34 leading industrialized countries the U.S. ranks 14th in reading literacy, 17th in science, and 25th in math. • The U.S. is now number 10 in the world in the percentage of young people with college degrees. • Currently an A in one state may be equivalent to a C in another; we need consistent standards and goals. • Three million jobs are unfilled in the U.S. due to a lack of qualified candidates. We know that the current K-12 education system is not adequately preparing our students to be college and career ready and we will see some darker days with new baseline testing as the standards are implemented. Pennsylvania, 44 other states and D.C. should implement the same tests for the Common Core Standards and not allow politics to drive different measurements throughout the nation. Business and industry requires a workforce that is prepared to compete globally; this means that all students must be held to the same standards. All of us have a stake in this – students and parents, business and labor, to elevate our standards and provide students the very best opportunity to be successful. This provides an opportunity in the long run to insure that students have the ability to be employed in family sustaining jobs and careers and that our companies can compete globally from a U.S. home base.

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October/November 2013


Local & Talented Architects

REGIONAL INITIATIVE UPDATE

Destination Erie: The Next Steps by Ben Pratt, director of research and project coordinator

Research Fuels the Fire for the Big Ideas “At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top - I’m afraid that’s not quite right.” ~ Bill Gates Great ideas can come from anywhere. Often times, some of the best Destination Erie: A Regional Vision (DEARV) brainstorming sessions have come from work group meetings that were organized to gain different perspectives. Over the last few months, the DE Consortium, WRT and the sub-consultants have generated some new reports that bring some of the challenges/opportunities of the community into different contexts. One of the main goals of the reports is to prompt idea generation from all different perspectives. The reports include: Mullin & Lonergan Associate’s “Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice in Erie County”, The CADMUS Group Inc.’s “Erie County Energy White Paper”. We provide a brief synopsis of both documents below in hopes that you will go to www.planerieregion.com and check them out! Please note that these studies are public record and we encourage you to use the data.

evaluating existing trends and conditions that affect fair housing choice, with particular attention to segregation and opportunity, along with a robust evaluation of public and private barriers. Both regional and local impediments have been identified and will need to be addressed according to fair housing action plans. The findings of the Regional AI will continue to factor into all components of the DEARV planning process, so that the implementation phase of regional planning rises from a strong foundation in fair housing principles.” Energy White Paper (CADMUS GROUP INC.) The updated Erie County energy white paper provides background on the relevance of energy infrastructure, energy and the economy, energy and air

quality, and energy and climate change. This document also goes into great depth with Erie specific energy sectors analysis including; electricity, natural gas and shale, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Both of these documents are thought provoking, and we encourage you to look through them and start sending us your BIG IDEAS. By the end of October we will be launching the DEARV Vision Report, which will map out what change the community wants to see and what we hope to accomplish in the next 20-30 years. We will also have the Growth Investment Framework Analysis complete. So keep checking www.planerieregion.com for updates and new data!

Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (RAI) (Mullin & Lonergan Associatates) T he R A I docu ment adopts a comprehensive, regional framework in

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Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Erie’s Treasures: Union Square, The Achievement Center and the Armory Visual – and vital – bridges to Erie’s successful past, present and future by Tricia Wood DeMarco Downtown Erie’s Union Station retains much of the Art Deco style that defined its December 1927 redesign and reopening (the train station was originally built in 1865 in the Italian architectural style, at-grade).

“Logistics Plus, 1406 Peach Street, has spent approximately $1.5 million on renovations thus far.”

Imagine the smartly dressed men and women in the early-and-mid-20th Century – including railroad staff and concession workers – bustling past the diagonal diamond patterns found in the building’s decorative brickwork and iron railings, as well as underneath the vintage marquees projecting over the main entrances on both Peach and 14th streets. From the late 20s to the 1940s, upward of 50 daily trains hustled passengers to places like New York City, Boston, Chicago – and looking sophisticated for the trip was important.

Today, Union Square is still a transportation hub, but passenger service, while still available, is now trumped by a global business service available from Logistics Plus, a silver investor with the ERCGP. The Erie County Historical Society recognized owner, Jim Berlin this year for his “care and stewardship of the historic Union Station.” Logistics Plus, 1406 Peach Street, has spent approximately $1.5 million on renovations thus far.

October/November 2013


Local & Talented Architects

“We always said that though Union Station will never be the center of transportation again, it can be a place from which transportation – global transportation – can be managed, so at least there is that link to its past,” Berlin says. “Also, though a relatively big company in Erie, Logistics Plus is really pretty small when you look at some of the giants of our industry like United Parcel Service or Federal Express. Owning a train station has quite the cachet—especially overseas,” he adds. “I’ve seen many potential customer’s or partner’s eyes light up and mood change when I show him a picture of our corporate headquarters.” Berlin says Alfred T. Fellheimer and Steward Wagner were the architects for the 1927 refurbishing. “This was the first Art Deco train station in America,” Berlin says. “Built when things were big, bold and made to last.” Since the turn of the 21st Century, Logistics Plus has completed an extensive amount of restorative work to the complex, which now includes entertainment, dining and several other businesses in addition to the global logistics company. Berlin says Heidi Schlabach was the “visionary” designer and MGM Construction carried those visions through. “This building certainly reflects the heady days of the Roaring Twenties and the vision of a grand city on the lake,” Berlin says in admiration of Union Station’s past. He also admires what the City of Erie, a diamond investor with the ERCGP, has done by fixing up Griswold Park directly in front of Station Square, as well as building new townhouses near 13th and Peach streets. Also, Berlin appreciates “that Attorney Andy Sisinni has done a terrific job renovating the old Post Office on the park. Downtowns all across the U.S. have come back and we are hoping Erie is no exception. Clearly things are a lot brighter here than they were when we bought this place 10 years ago.” Things also are looking a whole lot brighter on Erie’s lower east side thanks to the decades-long preservation and renovation efforts of Erie Insurance Group, a platinum investor with the ERCGP and Erie’s only home-based Fortune 500 company, to restore and revitalize the “campus” surrounding their corporate headquarters at East Sixth and French streets. Most recently, this included the purchase of the former Achievement Center, 101 E. Sixth Street, first known as the C. F. Adams Building, which “housed Erie Insurance offices from 1938 to 1956 and is what the company, founded in 1925, calls its first ‘owned’ headquarters,” according to a detailed series of articles Erie Times-News reporter Ed Palattella wrote this summer.

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The former Achievement Center will become the Erie Insurance Heritage Center, housing company artifacts and exhibits as well as preserving the building’s architectural integrity, according to Tom Hagen, the former chief executive and current board chairman of Erie Insurance Group. Hagen spearheaded historical preservation as an Erie Insurance cause since the early 1980s. (In fact, he just published a beautifully printed and illustrated hardcover book, “The Historic Tibbals House 1842,” which was produced by Erie Insurance Creative Services Department.) Also, in addition to the Heritage Center refurbishment, a new, $28 million training center will be built just to the south of the building. The insurance company also bought, and plans to refurbish, the historic Pennsylvania National Guard Armory at East Sixth and Parade streets. The two renovation projects – the Heritage Center and the Armory – are barely in conversational modes, architecturally speaking, according to Hagen.

“Things also are looking a whole lot brighter on Erie’s lower east side thanks to the decades-long preservation and renovation efforts of Erie Insurance Group.” “We are really just in the early stages of looking for interpretations of what the original architects and builders were trying to say and starting to reinterpret them,” he explains. “More than mere buildings, architects and planners are now examining their past, analyzing the buildings transitions as they aged, and determining how to fit them to modern, contemporary needs. We must be very careful in maintaining the fabric of the historical structures inside and out while at the same time giving them new life in our current world.” Hagen indicates the architectural firms of Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design (learn more about this firm on page 14) in Erie and Boston firm, CBT will be two of the entities working on the current renovations. “This is really a continuation of what we started in 1983 restoring houses that were part of the Erie Insurance campus,” Hagen adds. “All of the houses are on the National Register of Historic Places.” According to the Erie Times-News, since 2011 Erie Insurance Group has bought more than 30 properties on the lower east side.

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Bostwick DESIGN Partnership

need subhead by John Chacona

October/November 2013


Local & Talented Architects

Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Bostwick DESIGN Partnership Designed for growth by John Chacona “The kinds of design where we excel are those where we are faced with very complex problems that our owners are confronting,” says Bob Bostwick, AIA of Bostwick Design Partnership, a silver investor with the ERCGP. “We do our best work where our clients are trying to do something they’ve never done before and they need to partner with us to find the best solution.” Partnering to find the best solution works for the firm as well as its clients. Ross Rectenwald AIA is a principal and director of Bostwick’s Erie office, but before joining with the 50-yearold Cleveland-based firm last October, Rectenwald headed an Erie-based firm that was known by different names and had many partners in its 29-year history.

“One is a signature feature of the Erie Bayfront, a big stage for any architect, and Rectenwald has made his mark there.” The union, Rectenwald says, was from a position of strength. “We were successful and had large projects, $100 million of projects under contract at the time.” But, he said, “we couldn’t do it with 16 people and we had trouble attracting people to Erie. I went looking for somebody who was doing the same kind of work with the same kind of reputation and in the same markets.” Rectenwald had jointly pursued a project with Bostwick a dozen years earlier. “We were doing the same kind of work with the same kind of reputation and in the same markets,” he said. That work was primarily done for institutional clients: healthcare facilities, institutions of higher education, libraries as well as some commercial clients. It’s an area where both the Erie and Cleveland offices of Bostwick excel, and it has led to some high-profile projects. One is a signature feature of the Erie Bayfront, a big stage for any architect, and Rectenwald has made his mark there. What is now the Women’s Hospital at UPMC Hamot was a project that began in 2006, immediately before the financial crisis. Changes to the program for the building happened during construction, adding to the challenge of the project.

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“We ended up putting an addition onto it before construction was done,” Rectenwald said. This building was designed to contain a triage unit, operating rooms, post-partum and ante-partum patient rooms among other facilities. Despite housing very advanced medical technology, Rectenwald’s design was informed by its waterfront location “to pull in the feel you get from nature and Presque Isle, which you can see from the rooms,” the architect said. But the rooms themselves were also conceived with an effect in mind. Rectenwald incorporated organic shapes and soothing colors in the ten labor/delivery/recovery rooms. And for the neonatal intensive care unit, he designed a space that he describes as “playful, for a unit where the situation is usually very serious and not playful.” The result was named sixth on a list of “The 25 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the World” published last year by Healthcare Business & Technology Magazine. Healthcare is a vibrant sector in the current economy, and Rectenwald points out that rapid advancements in medical technology require new spaces to contain and best use that technology. Not surprisingly, he is confident about his firm’s future.

“To grow, the firm will build on its strengths.” “Our projections are for growth. The Cleveland office does a great deal of work for The Cleveland Clinic. We do work for UPMC Hamot and Saint Vincent Hospital. We’ve had conversations with healthcare clients in Rochester and Buffalo. Our work is about 65 percent in healthcare. Higher education is 20 to 25 percent with maybe 10 percent in commercial and corporate projects.” To grow, the firm will build on its strengths. Bob Bostwick identifies these as “intense investigation, analysis, communication, understanding and collaboration. With these, our outcomes tend to be solutions where our clients and their constituents have a lot of input.”

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Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design

October/November 2013


Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Local & Talented Architects

Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design Civically engaged for the future of Erie by Mary Birdsong “We can be chameleons,” says Jeff Kidder of he and his partner Richard “Chip” Wachter of Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design, an investor with the ERCGP. “Often time you can’t tell we did a building. We look at the whole neighborhood and go through a conscious process to either blend in with or stand out from it. What matters most is that we solve our client’s problems, whether it’s growing a business or making changes in their home.” Despite a reputation for historic restoration, partners Jeff Kidder and Richard “Chip” Wachter see themselves as generalists in architectural practice. “Our work ranges from commercial clients like Erie Insurance and Country Fair to private residential customers” says Wachter. “In Erie, you have to serve in a wide variety of ways,” adds Kidder.

“They share a common vision and philosophy about architectural design and its impact on a community.” The firm had its beginnings in 2003 when Jeff Kidder launched his own practice. In 2005, Wachter joined him and they formed Kidder Wachter. In 2011, they moved their offices into the Dickson Tavern, Erie’s oldest building, after a loving restoration. The firm now employs eight people and offers a wide range of services from master and urban planning to the smallest details of interior design. They share a common vision and philosophy about architectural design and its impact on a community. “We both saw a need here in Erie,” says Kidder. “Chip and I both went away to school and had careers elsewhere before coming back to Erie. We knew that we could make more of an impact here than in a big city.” Seeing evidence of the firm’s civic involvement is easy. They work closely with the non-profit Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS), a bronze investor with the ERCGP. The firm most recently transformed the HANDS former offices at East 12th and Wallace streets into the 10unit apartment complex called Flagship City. They have also designed/renovated Rosewood at Sixth street and East avenue, the recent North Coast Place Apartments on

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West 18th street and have worked on the Parade Street Commons and Villa Apartments. That civic inclination continues with their proposed plan for the GAF site. Kidder and Wachter worked on the master plan voluntarily because they wanted to contribute in some way to the dialogue about the role the site will play in the future of Erie. “We see this as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the city, says Kidder, “As citizens, we wanted to use our expertise to create something that will help people discuss the future. With plans on the table, it is easier to see what might be, what decisions seems right.” This energetic attitude extends to the firm’s own ventures, as well. This summer the pair purchased the Rothrock building in downtown Erie and has plans to develop and manage it for office space and commercial use. This project is the beginning of their plans to diversify the firm to include other architectural-related services including realty, development, construction and facility management. “As the complexity of projects increases, we feel it’s important to expand our expertise into other areas to provide our clients with comprehensive services throughout the entire program of building, expansion or growth,” says Wachter. Their goal is to be able to take a client from the beginning of a project to the end and beyond. According to Kidder, “we want to be a single source for everything the client needs from basic space planning through a real estate search, the renovation or building phase and the ability to offer facility management after the initial project is done.”

“This energetic attitude extends to the firm’s own ventures, as well.” By going in this direction, Kidder and Wachter say they will be able to streamline their projects to better suit their interests as the firm grows. Chip Wachter says “projects that engage us on a civic, aesthetic and economic level are the most exciting; we are most interested in how the downtown works, in making the city everything it can be.”

15


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October/November 2013 Chamber Ad2 Full-Pg (0913).indd 1

9/13/13 2:24 PM


Local & Talented Architects

Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Erie Ambassador Feature:

AMBASSADORS

Marilyn Sharp by Joelyn J. Bush editor, director of Marketing and Communications

Marilyn is a familiar face, attending nearly every Business After Hours event in recent years. After a lengthy career in nursing and education, Marilyn Sharp continually sought out opportunities to remain engaged in the community. It was in the spring of 2005 when she discovered the newly created Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership Ambassador program. “Actually, I saw the advertisement in the Erie Times News and was drawn to the opportunity to learn more about the City of Erie,” Marilyn explained. “Back then, the Chamber offered stipends to individuals wishing to go through the program, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity offered to me so that I could participate in the Erie Ambassador program. They had faith in me. It was so very generous of the organization.” A native of Warren, Pennsylvania Marilyn has been an active Erie Ambassador alumni for more than eight years, having served the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership and the Erie region in numerous volunteer capacities during that time. “It is because of Erie Ambassador alumni like Marilyn, who remain actively involved, that the program continues to be a success,” says Cathy Noble, events coordinator and Erie Ambassador program coordinator. Marilyn speaks of the Erie Ambassador program, “It made me feel very comfortable in the City. The speakers talk about schools, history, Presque Isle and

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so much more! One of the greatest things I have been involved in as an alumni was the grand opening of the Bayfront Convention Center. I have a pin that I treasure from that event. We did all of the tours, it was a culmination of seeing the completion and the venue has been successful.” In addition to her service as an Erie Ambassador, you can often find Marilyn tending to the gardens in front of Sacred Heart Church, where she is an active parishioner. Learn more about the Erie Ambassador Program: www.eriepa.com/chamber/erie-ambassadors or contact Cathy Noble at cnoble@eriepa.com.

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Erie’s Healthcare Collaboration

CO N S I S TE NT F E AT U R E

What’s the

Big Deal

about diabetes? Contributed by Nicole Wolf, Executive Director Erie County Diabetes Association

On any given day, turn on the television, open a newspaper, or browse the web’s trending health topics and you’ll encounter a resounding message—type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions and have resulted in devastating human and financial consequences. However, what you might not have heard is that this sneaky disease is almost always preceded by “prediabetes;” a condition that might hit closer to home than you think. The average case of type 2 diabetes begins with a prediabetes phase lasting 7-10 years. During this period, blood sugar progressively creeps above the normal level, and in many cases without any symptoms. Consequently, in the absence of lab testing, prediabetes often goes undetected. So what is the big deal? Quite simply, taking action at this stage of the disease process can mean the difference between a near future with or without type 2 diabetes. This is a critical piece of information for the 1 in 3 people in Erie County who currently have prediabetes. Learn Your Risk For Prediabetes Only about 6% of the estimated 98,000 people in Erie County with prediabetes are aware of it. You’ve probably heard that physical inactivity and being overweight puts a person at risk for diabetes. However, did you also know that you can be at a normal weight and still develop prediabetes because of other risk factors like family history, having high blood pressure, or giving birth to a baby over nine pounds? Go to the Erie October/November 2013

County Diabetes Association’s website www.diabeteserie.org and click on the “Screening and Prevention” tab to take the full prediabetes risk test. Better yet, speak to the nurse educator, Justine, about your personal risk factors. What If I Find Out That I Am At-Risk? If you are at risk for having prediabetes or diabetes, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will order one or more lab tests to measure your blood glucose levels. From there, you can help prevent or delay diabetes by doing the following: • If you are overweight, set a goal to lose at least 5 to 10 percent of your body weight—that’s 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person. Reduce the number of calories and lower the amount of fat in your diet. • Increase your physical activity. You don´t need a complex routine. Just

move your body to burn calories. Always check with your doctor before you start a new fitness program. • If you smoke, consider quitting. 1-800-QUIT-NOW is a free telephone support service that can help individuals who want to stop smoking or using tobacco. • Don’t delay-take some action today. Help Is Available The Erie County Diabetes Association plans to launch a program called Group Lifestyle Balance™ as part of its Families Waging War Against Diabetes Movement in early 2014. This program is recognized by the Center for Disease Control as an effective means to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at risk. For more information and to be placed on our mailing list, please contact Nicole Wolf, Executive Director at (814) 454-0715 or by email at nwolf@diabeteserie.org.


Local & Talented Architects

REGIONAL INITIATIVE UPDATE

Erie Vital Signs This is a seriesofofThe monthly reports from Vital Signs, aPartnership, collaboration of The Erie Community Foundation, This is a series of monthly reports from Vital Signs, a collaboration Erie Community Foundation, The NonProfit United Way of Erie County, Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership and Erie Together. The NonProfit Partnership, United Way of Erie County, Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership and Erie Together.

E

rie Vital Signs is a collaboration of The Erie Community Foundation, The Nonprofit Partnership, United Way of Erie County, Erie Regional Erie VitalChamber Signs is&aGrowth collaboration ofand TheErie Erie Community Thecomprise Nonprofit Partnership, United Way ofproject Erie Partnership, Together. MembersFoundation, of these agencies a Steering Committee that provides County, Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership, and Erie Together. Members of these agencies comprise a Steering oversight to help guide our community’s future for the next decade. Committee that provides project oversight to help guide our community’s future for the next decade. Erie Vital Signs tracks indicators that reflect and measure our county’s well-being in eight topic areas: The goal of this project is to Erie Vital Signs tracks indicators andby measure oursound, county’s well-being in eight topic and areas: The goal on of the this inform, inspire, and even provoke.that Thisreflect is achieved presenting unbiased information, with clarity transparency, project is to inform, inspire, and even provoke. This is achieved by presenting sound, unbiased information, with clarity issues our community identifies as important to our quality of life. and transparency, on the issues our community identifies as important to our quality of life.

Pre K-12 Education: Educational Attainment

Diabetes: This trend isOverview mixed inconclusive.

other three categories increasing. Indicators: From 2006 to 2011, Erie County made little progress towards deEducational attainment in Erie County has fluctuated over the past If youfour oryears. a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, we’ve pulled together less than high school Generally, attainment levels are classified into four broad creasing the percentage of residents with Sugara Testing important Erie-specific information so ithigh is all available in one place:or GED. According to data fromBlood diploma the American Community categories: less than a high school graduate, school graduate conducted equivalency), some college or associate’s degree and as aSurvey, Retinalthe Eyepercentage Exams of • A(including list of procedures and services you should receive person with by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population with less than a high school diploma decreased a bachelor’splus degree or higher. Clearly, county would like to see diabetes, related data for aErie County from HealthAmerica, Highmark from 15.1 percen to 13.5 percent.Cholesterol (LDL-C) Testing trendCross lines of Blue “less than high school graduates” Blue Shield, UPMC Health decreasing Plan, andand thethe Erie slightly County Department

of Health on how we’re doing, Medical Attention for Kidney Disease Educational Spending Educational Attainment (Nephropathy) • Information on how to view local hospital quality information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Early Childhood Education Program Participation PSSA Results

Indicator KEY • A list of recognized and certified primary care diabetes providers in Erie Early Childhood Education – RiskThe Factor Comparison County, and, Graduation Rates indicators must:

1. Have policy relevance for many stakeholders and be changeable to a significant degree by local action 2. Reflect a salient outcome or measure of We want to help Erie residents get control of their diabetes. well-being ipis dunt velisl utat ver sis alit, quamconseddiam nulla Look through the pages, telldolessectet your friends, and come back toercincidunt see up-to-date data. Usto ad te do digniat nulput3. Be a valid and reliable measure from a If you have questions, please the Erie County Diabetes Association feugiam, consequamat irit lum iurero conse vel neutral source respected pat wis contact am, quis alit nonsenis aut euismod (814) 454-0715. euissecte min volorper augait del dio eugiam, 4. Have information that is readily available et duip eriusci duipit praesed min veliqui quipit vullaore velent dipit ipissequam ero odion 5. Have comparable state and national The ssismodio following Effectiveness Information Set (HEDIS®) tell us ditHealthcare ilit ipit velesendre dolortinibh exData euipitand alis dolor benchmarks vullaore feumsan volute duisis delisse magniam, howipsusto Erie county residents areerdoing with theirexer diabetes delit vullum velisciduip alit alit am, sustrud sum care: 6. Be measured consistently and frequently suscipit praesenit adiam incipisit utat. over time quam, verci tet, vero corperos ex elit at. Ut ero dolortio doloboreros • LDL-C Testing • Blood Sugar Testing iurer ad do odolore etumsan utet lumado7. Have clear interpretation with widespread zzriliquis ex el irit utpat.• Medical Attention for Ut •augiamconum Retinal Eyenum Exams Nephropathy agreement lore consect etumsandre dolor secte feuis nostie as to what constitutes a good Lut nosto dolor ipis dolore diamet, sim zzrit utpatis modolortisl or bad trend Each measure is separated into Commercial (privately insured), Medicare (the

• Toolkits for employers, health plans, health care providers, community organizations ECG Grant and individuals with diabetes.

FPO

et, ver aliquipsum quisci ea consecte feum atie inisisl ullandre molor senim ver ipsuscipit velenim augait adit acip elderly or disabled), and Medicaid (low income) patients. ex et nonsectet nim velisi. essequatem zzril dit ver ipisisi. Tummod volumsan henisl These At, arecon important testsincilit that laevery person with diabetes should getmin to ulla staycorasiustin healthy as possible, so the more ut nonsequatem feu facipsumsan ullaortion people who get them done the better. As you read you’ll find out what each test is, why it’s important for you to get el ipsusci bla feu feum nibh exero od dolore tem vulput luptat iure min henissit nim zzriureet praesent velit alis it, and what you should ask your doctor at your appointment. dolore tie feu faci ex erostrud dolor sequis exero elisl iusci blam, dolorpe raessit praesti ncilit eugue velenibh er sequat. Agnim vulquipis dolent prat. Duismolore faccum quat alissim ex euguero HEDIS® is quat. a registered trademark the National Committee luptat, Um ea adiam, velit, seof commy num ea feugait accumfor Quality Assurance (NCQA) eu facipit lore vel iusto dolore commodo lorpero consed estisl irillan dreet, consequipsum dunt lorem dolorem nulpute velit vulThe Erie Healthcare onditErie Vitaleugue Signs is made possible by contributions from the following organizations: delestrud eu fa magnim.. lan ullaor sim ipisl Collaboration’s dip eum dolorper content se dunt do velisim ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

To learn more, go to www.erievitalsigns.org

GE Transportation Learn more at http://www.erievitalsigns.org/health/diabetes/

eriepa.com

19


Thomas F. Grosz Architect

October/November 2013


Local & Talented Architects

Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Thomas F. Grosz Architect Special architecture for everyday living

Thomas F. Grosz Architect

by Mary Birdsong It’s easy to be inspired by a European cathedral or showpiece museum. But most of us don’t spend our everyday lives in these sorts of places. According to Tom Grosz, an independent architect and investor with the ERCGP, we shouldn’t have to wait to be in a special place to feel excellence. “Even if I’m designing what many would consider a utilitarian office space, I always think, what can I add to improve the experience of being in there; what can I do to make spending time here better?”

“A smart bank, or any business, provides a comfortable experience for the customer and should want to make people feel at ease within the space.” A generalist who specializes in small commercial spaces, Grosz, has been working on his own since 2009 after being a part of many local and out-of-town firms. As a one-man shop he is responsible for all aspects of a project from the design to code compliance and facility infrastructure. His philosophy of architecture is “To create an environment that best meets the needs of the client and creates an experience that enhances the human spirit in a positive way.” Recent projects completed in the Erie area include the remodeling of several local Pizza Huts and building a new facility for First National Bank on West 12th Street. Grosz says that a bank needn’t be “vanilla” or utilitarian just because customers may only spend a short time there. “A smart bank, or any business, provides a comfortable experience for the customer and should want to make people feel at ease within the space.” He also recently completed a training facility for Healthcare Ventures Alliance (HVA) near 12th street and Asbury road. HVA is a coalition of non-profit, longterm care, assisted living and senior living facilities that collaborate to provide improved care to older adults through cooperative efforts such as training and continuing education for staff members.

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“Since the people training there are going to be caring for a very vulnerable population, it’s very important to provide an appropriate atmosphere that is conducive to better learning. The atmosphere is just as important as making sure the building meets the basic needs like heat and lighting and complies with code,” says Grosz. He also speaks with excitement about his current work on the new flagship offices of Hertel & Brown Physical Therapy which will be located in the West Erie Plaza. “It is a challenging space since the only natural light coming into the facility is through the front windows; we had to play with wall heights and make other adjustments to achieve the ambiance they were looking for. The 7,000 square foot facility–slated to open in January 2014–will boast eight exam rooms, an open therapy area, offices, a conference room and a 17-by-23 foot therapy pool. “It is a real departure from their other facilities,” says Grosz. “It will have a wide-open metal grid ceiling to create a spacious feel and a sports theme will prevail, including carpeting with a football field-inspired grid on the main therapy floor.”

“This young man had a full-time job and just needed a better living space to be fully independent. That was a satisfying project.” One of the most fulfilling for Grosz, however, was a job where he ventured away from his typical commercial work and into a special residential project for a young man who was confined to a wheelchair and living in an apartment that was not barrier free. “His parents–with a limited budget–built an addition to their home so their son could have an accessible living space. This young man had a fulltime job and just needed a better living space to be fully independent. That was a satisfying project.” Whether he is designing a bank or changing the way one man lives, Grosz has stood by his philosophy developed 36 years ago of using architecture to enhance the human spirit in some way and he will continue to look for ways to heighten the everyday places where we work, shop or recreate, even if we don’t notice the details.

21


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October/November 2013


Local & Talented Architects

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Roth Marz Partnership

October/November 2013


Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Local & Talented Architects

Roth Marz Partnership Pathway to purposeful design by Mary Birdsong A new pedestrian bridge is snaking its way across the expanse of lawn between Ross Hall and the Baron-Forness Library at Edinboro University. When completed in October, it will give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to eliminate many long, and possibly cold, jaunts to other buildings. This makes Bob Marz happy and proud. As president of Roth-Marz Partnership, an investor with the ERCGP, he takes delight in seeing projects emerge from his first simple sketches to their realization as structures.

“The walkway was going to have a prominent place in the landscape; I had to give it special consideration.” “The walkway was going to have a prominent place in the landscape; I had to give it special consideration,” says Marz. He can now walk the curving structure and discover light, shadow, patterns and textures coming together into a pleasing whole. Which for Marz, is one of the best parts of being an architect. The firm had its beginnings in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1971 as D. Roth Partnership. It became Roth-Marz Partnership, P.C. not long after opening an office in Erie and with the addition of Bob Marz to the firm. Now housed in a soaring, restored church on Chapin Street, they serve clients primarily in commercial, civic, healthcare and educational settings. It counts the Erie Parking Authority, Erie Water Works, Erie County, the Boys and Girls Club and the School District of the City of Erie among its clients. Besides traditional architectural services, the firm also offers interior design, master planning, project management, site analysis, space planning, structural engineering, construction management, acoustical design and more. The firm employs 11 people, including interns. “We are proud to be an employer in Erie and we do our best to keep business local when we can” says Marz. “The internship program helps students gain experience in the architectural field, an important aspect of being a part of the community.” Supporting the community is important to Marz. Each year the firm hosts a golf tournament to raise money for the Academic Sports League in which teams of students from area schools compete in intellectual tournaments. The

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firm, along with Erie Insurance and local colleges provide scholarships for deserving students in the ASL. Roth Marz alone has contributed nearly $200,000 towards scholarships since the League’s inception 17 years ago. Working for the Erie School District also gives Roth Marz the opportunity to support even more students. One of its most notable buildings is the new East High School which received a Golden Trowel Award from the Masonry Institute of America. Additionally, they have made renovations or additions to Collegiate Academy, Strong Vincent High School and Harding School, among others. The firm also restored and made additions to the landmark Chestnut Street Pumping Station which holds a very prominent place on Erie’s west Bayfront Parkway and houses the four-story Big Bertha pumping engine, itself a Pennsylvania Historical Mechanical Engineering Landmark since 1981. “This project is a great example of meeting a client’s needs and not trying to force a design. Since the building already had historic significance, it was important for us to make sure that the style of the addition matched what was already there,” Marz tells me. He had more leeway on the design of the Intermodal Transportation Center – home to the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, and also on Erie’s bayfront. What emerged is now a modern local landmark that stands out with its low-slung barrel shapes and gently sloping two-domed roof. The design won 2003 Honors from the Northwest Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its good looks but also for its cost-saving features like durable vinyl roofing and geothermal heat and AC system.

“This project is a great example of meeting a client’s needs and not trying to force a design.” “No matter what kind of project is before us, whether we have limits due to pre-existing structures or are starting from scratch, meeting a client’s needs is the most important part of the job,” Marz says. “If all they need is a basic building for industry or to enclose a space, then we provide that within their budget. We listen to the client and provide solutions to their space needs whether they be practical or extravagant.”

25


Weber Murphy Fox

October/November 2013


Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Local & Talented Architects

Weber Murphy Fox Transformed by technology by John Chacona About 25 years ago, Weber Murphy Fox, a bronze investor with the ERCGP, began to pursue a radical rethinking of what an architectural firm should do. The result is a highly integrated organization that embraces land planning and development, design and construction, bringing all stages of a project under one roof.

“Our field construction supervisors are using tablets where they can send a picture back from the field about a problem to solve on-site, and we can send details back out while the building is being built.” Today, the firm is extending the philosophy with the use of technology that is fundamentally changing the profession. “Virtual design and construction. That’s where we’re headed,” says Rich Speicher, AIA, a WMF principal. “Our field construction supervisors are using tablets where they can send a picture back from the field about a problem to solve on-site, and we can send details back out while the building is being built.” But while technology has transformed the profession and the firm, design is equally a hallmark of the 46-year-old firm. The aesthetic of Weber Murphy Fox, as created by Herm Weber and Doug Murphy, has had a profound effect on the Erie skyline through such iconic structures such as 100 State Street and the Bicentennial Tower. Founded in Erie, WMF also has offices in Cleveland, Charlotte, N.C. and State College. When the financial crisis of 2008 struck, the firm had 75 employees. Today that number is 45, but it’s growing. Dennis Wilkins, the firm’s president, proudly stated that the firm just hired its first “third-generation” architect. “We’ve had a lot of success with local kids who want to return to the area. We like to get summer interns in here so we can take a look at them and track their careers, and we hope to use that as a recruitment tool in getting young professionals who want to impact the community.”

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These professionals are sensitive to environmental impacts, and they often have a passion for historic preservation, a passion that the firm is happy to encourage. “Historical preservation is tied up in the ‘green building’ movement,” said Chuck Haynes, the marketing principal of WMF. “But, in a period of limited resources, we want to be a part of initiatives like those aimed at funding historic projects through tax credits.”

“Because we’re designers, we’re better builders, and because we’re builders, we’re better designers. That’s the environment we thrive in.” “In Erie you have to be good at transforming existing stock into something new and different,” Speicher said, and the transformation of the YMCA of Greater Erie’s Glenwood Y is a perfect illustration. “It was a classic 1950s YMCA,” Wilkins said. “An opaque brick box.” But over time, the kinds of people served by the Y changed, spanning children to Silver Sneakers members, all interested in wellness. But, a community study done by the Y found that while people knew the Glenwood facility, they had no idea what went on in the building. “There was no transparency there, literally. So, we wanted to add as much visual connection – merchandise – as we could,” Wilkins said. That meant glass - a lot of it - and now one can see the fitness equipment from Cherry Street. Persons in the building also have views of the Erie Zoo and J.C. Martin Golf Course from a stretching room overlooking West 38th Street. Often, such solutions become part of the visual language of a place. “Architecture reflects the culture that it’s created in, and as you go from generation to generation, you see these subtle and not-so-subtle shifts,” Dick Fox, AIA said. “Because we’re designers, we’re better builders, and because we’re builders, we’re better designers. That’s the environment we thrive in.”

27


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October/November 2013

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Local & Talented Architects

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PRSRT STD US POSTAGE

PAID

Permit # 298 Erie PA

208 East Bayfront Parkway Suite 100 Erie, PA 16507

NEW LOCATION October 24

5:00–7:00 p.m. GE Transportation– Customer Innovation Center 2901 East Lake Road Erie, PA

November 14 Business After Hours is a members only networking event of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. Contact Cathy Noble at (814) 454.7191 x146 or cnoble@eriepa.com for more information.

October/November 2013

5:00–7:00 p.m. Erie Day School 1372 West 6th Street Erie, PA

December 12

5:00–7:00 p.m. Around the Chef’s Table 2630 Cherry Street Erie, PA

ERIE Magazine October-November 2013  

In general terms Architects render professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments....

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