Nov 4, 2012

Two to Save on William Street

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.

For additional photos, check out my Flickr page here.

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  1. The flat roof is the nail in the coffin for so many of these lovely brick storefronts. When it fails, things go downhill quick. The plaster looks like a loss, but I didn't see too much masonry deterioration in the pictures.

    1. I believe with the exception of the partial collapse of the first floor, both buildings are probably structurally sound. I'm in the process of contacting the owner for 677 William Street to see if she has an interest in selling. Unfortunately, finding the owner of 673 is proving to be more difficult. The owner's mailing address is the same as the building and I'm certain no one has been checking the mail here for quite some time.

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    1. Unfortunately, neither one were on the In-Rem list

  3. Not sure if this is any help, but maybe it's related to the Miracle Missions Full Gospel Church several blocks over on Sycamore?
    The Pastor mentions on the website that they "finally got their own church". The current site at 406 Sycamore was bought by Loguen Dev (owned by the Vice Chair Alberta Johnson) in 2009 so maybe they used 673 William until they got the new facility.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I sent a letter to each owner and unfortunately, both were returned either as undeliverable or unable to be forwarded so I haven't made much progress