I’ve been watching this duo for a few years and unfortunately they have not been getting any better. A quick check of Erie country property records reveals that both buildings are privately owned, not the city’s property as I originally suspected. 673 William is owned by Miracle Mission Baptist Church and 677 William is owned by Barbara B. Jones.
So far I have not been able to get any contact information for Miracle Mission, but I was able to track down Ms. Jones. The Church has owned their building since 1999 and Ms. Jones has owned hers since 1997. It looks like the pair have been empty for the better part of a decade. I imagine Miracle Mission did in fact use their property as a small storefront church given the smashed organ and makeshift stage.
This area of William Street is blocks from the downtown core and has lost a significant amount of the historic buildings. There is still some good stuff over here and imaging these two rehabbed and inhabited is not difficult.
677 William predates 673 and was built sometime between 1900 and 1925 as indicated by Sanborn maps. 677 William was built post-1925, but likely not too long afterward. I’ll do my best to get some further research on both and do an update post soon.
They both have their fair share of issues, especially 677, which has a partially collapsed first floor. A closer look reveals the likely culprit is a compromised roof and water infiltration that ultimately rotted the floor joists where they meet the wall. Regardless, the pair appear to be solid overall. Some basic roof repairs and securing the shell would go a long way in mothballing these gems until a new owner can be found.