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Erie ( ) is an industrial city on the shore of Lake Eriemarker in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Pennsylvaniamarker. Named for the lake and the Native American tribe that resided along its southern shore, Erie is the state's fourth largest city (after Philadelphiamarker, Pittsburghmarker and Allentownmarker), with a population of 104,000. Erie's Metropolitan Area consists of approximately 280,000 residents and an Urbanized Area population of approximately 195,000. The city is the seat of government for Erie Countymarker.

Erie is in proximity to Clevelandmarker, Ohiomarker; Buffalomarker, New Yorkmarker; and Pittsburghmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker. Once teeming with heavy industry, Erie's heavy manufacturing sector now consists mainly of plastics and locomotive building. Known for its lake effect snow, Erie is in the heart of the rust belt and has begun to focus on tourism as a driving force in its economy. More than four million people each year visit Presque Isle State Parkmarker, for water recreation, and a new casinomarker named for the state park is growing in popularity.

Erie is known as the Flagship City because of the presence of Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship Niagara. The city has also been called the Gem City because of the "sparkling" lake. Erie won the All-America City Award in 1972.


The six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, which included the Senecas, occupied the lands now known as Erie. The French built Fort Presque Islemarker near present day Erie in 1753, as part of their effort to garrison New France against the encroaching English. The French word "Presque-isle" means peninsula (literally "almost an island") and refers to that piece of land that juts into Lake Erie that is now called Presque Isle State Parkmarker. When the fort was abandoned by the French in 1760, it was their last post west of Niagara. The British occupied the fort at Presque Isle that same year, three years before the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763.

Present day Erie would have been situated in a disputed trianglemarker of land that was claimed by the states of New Yorkmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, Connecticutmarker (as part of its Western Reserve), and Massachusettsmarker. It officially became part of Pennsylvania on March 3, 1792, after Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York released their claims to the federal government, which in turn sold the land to Pennsylvania for $151,640.25 (75 ¢/acre) in Continental certificates. The Iroquois released the land to Pennsylvania in January 1789 for payments of $2,000 from Pennsylvania and $1,200 from the federal government. The Seneca Nation separately settled land claims against Pennsylvania in February 1791 for the sum of $800.

The Battle of Lake Erie played a role in the history of Erie.

The General Assembly of Pennsylvania commissioned the surveying of land near Presque Isle through an act passed on April 18, 1795. Andrew Ellicott, who famously completed Pierre Charles L'Enfant's survey of Washington, D.C.marker and helped resolve the boundary between Pennsylvania and New York, arrived to begin the survey in June 1795. Initial settlement of the area began that year. Colonel Seth Reed and his family moved to the Erie area from Geneva, New Yorkmarker and became the first European settlers of Erie.

To wrest control of Lake Erie from the Britishmarker during the War of 1812, President James Madison ordered the construction of a naval fleet at Erie. Noted shipbuilders Daniel Dobbins of Erie and Noah Brown of New York led construction of four schooner–rigged gunboats and two brigs. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry arrived from Rhode Island and led the squadron to success in the historic Battle of Lake Erie.

State and 9th Streets in downtown Erie during the early 1920s

Erie was an important railroad hub in the mid–nineteenth century, the city being the site where three sets of track gauges met. While the delays required to unload and load passengers and cargo were a problem for commerce and travel, they provided much needed local jobs in Erie. When a national standardized gauge was proposed, those jobs, and the importance of the rail hub itself, were put in jeopardy. The citizens of Erie, led by the mayor, set fire to bridges, ripped up track, and rioted to stop standardization in an event known as the Erie Gauge War.

On August 3, 1915, the Mill Creek (the creek that Millcreek Townshipmarker was named after) flooded downtown Erie when a culvert, blocked by debris, gave out. A four block reservoir, caused by torrential downpours, had formed behind it. The "wall of water" that resulted killed 12 people. After the flood, Mayor Miles B. Kitts had the Mill Creek diverted to a tube that would run under the city to the lakemarker.

Erie's importance gradually faded through the 1900s as the age of lake trade and commercial fishing drew to a close. Downtown Erie continued to grow for most of the 20th century, before taking a major population downturn in the 1970s. With the advent of the automobile age, thousands of residents left Erie for suburbs such as Millcreek Townshipmarker, which now has over 50,000 people.

Erie has won the All-America City Award only once, in 1972, and was a finalist in 1961, 1994, 1995, and 2009.


The Mill Creek in the city of Erie.
Erie is situated at (42.114507, -80.076213), directly between Clevelandmarker, Ohiomarker, Buffalomarker, New Yorkmarker, and Pittsburghmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker on the south–central shores of Lake Erie. Erie’s bedrock is Devonian shale and siltstone, overlain by glacial tills and stratified drift. Stream drainage in Erie flows northward into Lake Eriemarker, then through Lake Ontariomarker, the St. Lawrence Rivermarker, and out to the Atlantic Oceanmarker. South of Erie is a drainage divide, where most of the streams south of this divide in western Pennsylvania flow in a southward direction into the Allegheny or Ohio Rivers.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of with being land and the remaining (21.54%) being water. Erie is home to Presque Isle State Parkmarker (known to the locals as "The Peninsula"), a peninsula that juts into Lake Eriemarker and has of public beaches, wetlands, and fishing sites.
A road map of Erie showing the major routes that travel through it.
Erie is laid out in a grid surrounding Perry Square in the downtown area. The downtown buildings are separated from the waterfront by the Bayfront Parkway. The tallest structure in Erie is St. Peter's Cathedralmarker at and the tallest building is the Renaissance Centre at tall. Erie has generally small ethnic neighborhoods including Little Italy. South of 38th Street, the grid gives way to curvilinear roads of post–1970 suburban development. Millcreek Townshipmarker and Peach Streetmarker are among Erie's newer areas.

Most of the cityscape includes renovated and refurbished factory buildings, mid–rise housing, single family homes, and office buildings. Erie's waterfront includes the Pepsi Amphitheater and surrounding parkland, which hosts numerous festivals. The Bayfront Convention Center and Hotelmarker is on Sassafras Pier next to Dobbins Landing. The Bicentennial Towermarker is centrally located in the skyline when viewed from Presque Isle State Park, with the numerous High-rise and Mid-rise buildings flanking the higher ground behind and to the east and west sides. On the east end of the waterfront, the Erie Maritime Museummarker and the city's main library, and third largest in Pennsylvania, host the Brig Niagara. Docks and marinas fill the freshwater shoreline in between.


Snow in April
The climate of Erie is typical of the Great Lakes. Erie is located in the snow beltmarker that stretches from Clevelandmarker to Syracusemarker and Watertownmarker; accordingly, its winters are typically cold, with heavy lake effect snow, but also with occasional stretches of mild weather that causes accumulated snow to melt. The summers in Erie put in it the warm summer, humid continental climate zone (Dfb) on the Köppen climate classification. The city experiences a full range of weather events, including snow, ice, rain, thunderstorms, and fog.

As of 2007, Erie is 13th on the list of snowiest places in the United States, averaging . For the winter of 2008–2009, Erie received of snow with the first accumulation of the season falling on October 29. The total for that year's seasonal snowfall is the second highest, falling short of the record by set during the winter of 2000–2001. The adverse winter conditions have been known to cause whiteouts, including one that caused a 50 car pile-up on Interstate 90, and USAir Flight 499 to overrun the runway at Erie International Airportmarker.

Demographics and religion

Erie Compared
2000 Census Erie PA U.S.
Total population 103,717 12,281,054 281,421,906
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000 -4.6% +3.14% +13.1%
Population density 4,722.9/sq mi 247/sq mi 80/sq mi
Median household income (1999) $28,387 $34,619 $41,994
Bachelor's degree or higher 17.4% 22.4.4% 24.4%
Foreign born 5.8% 5% 11%
White (non-Hispanic) 80.56% 85.4% 75.1%
Black 14.20% 10.01% 12.3%
Hispanic (any race) 3.2% 4.4% 12.5%
Asian .7% 1.8% 4.2%

As of the census of 2000, there were 103,717 people, 40,938 households, and 24,480 families residing in the city. There were 44,971 housing units at an average vacancy rate of 8%. Erie has long been declining in population due to the departure of factories and dependent businesses. The city has lost over 40,000 people since the early 1970s, allowing Allentownmarker to claim the position as Pennsylvania's third-largest city behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Erie's population was spread evenly among all age groups, with the median being 34. About 13% of families and 19% of the population were below the poverty line. Most of the people who reside in Erie are of European descent.

Since the mid 1990s, the International Institute of Erie (IIE), founded in 1919, has helped with the resettlement of refugees from Bosniamarker, Eritreamarker, Ghanamarker, Iraqmarker, Kosovomarker, Liberiamarker, Somaliamarker, Sudanmarker, the former Soviet Unionmarker, and Vietnammarker. The inclusion of refugees in Erie's community augments religious diversity and prompts community events such as cultural festivals.

In the early 20th century, Erie had a significant Russian immigrant community, many of whom worked in the shipbuilding plants along the bayfront. Unusual for a Great Lakes city, a substantial number of these Russian immigrants were Priestless (Bespopovtsy) Old Believers. In 1983, most of this community united with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and became Priested Old Ritualists. Even today, the gold-domed Church of the Nativity, on the bayfront near the former heart of the Russian community, is an Old Ritualist church. Bishop Daniel of Erie, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is based in Erie and is the Vicar President of the Synod of Bishops for the Old Ritualists.

Erie has a Jewish community that is over 150 years old. Temple Anshe Hesedmarker, a member of the Union for Reform Judaism, is served by its spiritual leader, Rabbi John L. Bush. Erie is home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, covering 13 counties (9,936 sq mi- the largest in the state). Its diocesan seat is the Saint Peter Cathedralmarker in Erie, which has a central tower flanked by two towers. Donald Trautman is the current Bishop of the diocese.

According to the Association of Religion Date Archives, Erie County had a total population of 280,843 people in 2000, of which 103,333 claimed affiliation with the Catholic Church, 40,301 with mainline Protestant houses of worship, and 12,980 with evangelical Protestant churches.


Old factory in Erie at 16th and Greengarden Intersections.
Across from the Railroad.
Erie is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's primary access point to Lake Eriemarker, the Great Lakes, and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The city emerged as a maritime center after the American Revolution, then as a railroad hub during the great American westward expansion. Erie became an important city for iron and steel manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution and thrived well into the 20th century with big industry.

While only diesel-electric locomotive building remains from the ranks of the large manufacturers in the early 21st century, a more diverse mix of mid-sized industries has emerged. This broader economic base includes not only smaller and more agile steel and plastic plants, but also a vigorous service sector: health, insurance and tourism. As of February 2008, Erie's unemployment rate was 5.3%, a one-point increase over the 4.3% rate a year earlier. The national unemployment rate was 4.8%.
Beaches impact local economy
Erie is the corporate headquarters of GE Transportation, Plastek Industries, Inc., Erie Insurance Group, and Marquette Savings Bank. Lord Corporation was founded and has major operations in Erie. Over 10% of the nation's plastics are manufactured or finished in Erie-based plastics plants. Erie is an emerging center for biofuels and environmental research, producing over 45 million gallons of biofuel a year. Tourism plays an increasingly important role in the local economy with over 4 million people visiting Presque Isle State Parkmarker and other attractions. Canadian shoppers frequent the Millcreek Mallmarker and Peach Streetmarker stores and attractions mostly because of Pennsylvania's tax exemption on clothing.

The city government is encouraging development through Commonwealth programs that encourage residents, universities and businesses to contribute toward the community’s economic health.

In 2002, the Erie Downtown Improvement District (DID) contracted a Philadelphiamarker-based company (Kise, Straw, and Kolodner) to set up a "master plan" for Erie's downtown. The DID plan includes construction of mid-rise and high-rise structures that will be used primarily for mid-city housing and retail expansion. Plans include renovating historical downtown buildings including the Boston Store and Mercantile Building. Fourth River Development and Radnor Property Group were selected as the developers.

Arts and culture

The iconic Boston Store in downtown Erie
Erie is home to several professional and amateur performing-arts groups. The most significant is the Erie Philharmonic, in continuous existence since 1913 (with the exception of an interregnum during World War II). This group of professional musicians also has a full chorus and a Junior Philharmonic division that tours the area.

The Lake Erie Ballet is a professional company that performs well-known programs throughout the year. The Erie Civic Music Association attracts, sponsors, and books performances by professional musicians, singers, entertainers, and ensembles from around the world. The Erie Art Museummarker is the city's main art gallery, located in a former U.S. Customs House on lower State Street near the bayfront. Its collection has an emphasis on folk art and modern art and it hosts a popular blues and jazz concert series.

Downtown Erie's historic and ornate Warner Theatremarker hosts a range of performances. Renovated in the 1980s and again in 2007, the Warner is the hub of Erie's Civic Centermarker. The downtown area is the home of the Erie Playhousemarker, one of the leading community theaters in the country, as well as the Roadhouse Theatre for Contemporary Art, home to more avant-garde works. The local Great Lakes Film Association (GLFA), which hosts the annual autumn Great Lakes Independent Film Festival, was founded in 2002.

The Bicentennial Tower and the Brig Niagara.

Along West 6th Street is Millionaires Row, a collection of 19th century Victorian mansions. The oldest lighthousemarker on the Great Lakes stands at the foot of Lighthouse Street. The lighthouse was built in 1818 and replaced in 1867.

The Bicentennial Towermarker, on Dobbins Landing at the foot of State Street, was built in 1995–96 to celebrate the city's bicentennial. It is tall and gives a panoramic view of Lake Erie and downtown. The Blasco Library and Erie Maritime Museum are its neighbors to the east. Presque Isle Downsmarker opened for business on February 28, 2007, the fourth slots parlor in the state and the first in Western Pennsylvania. There are 2,000 slot machines as of opening day, and an adjoining racetrack which opened in September 2007.


The Erie Times–News main office

Erie is served by The Erie Times-News, the city's only daily newspaper.

Erie is ranked as the 146th largest television market by Nielsen Media Research. The market is served by stations affiliated with major American networks including WICU 12marker (NBC), WJET 24 (ABC), WFXP 66marker (FOX), WSEE 35marker (CBS), and WBEPmarker (CW). WQLN 54marker is a member of PBS. Erie is also served by 25 AM and FM radio stations based in the city, and dozens of other stations are received from elsewhere.


Jerry Uht Park from the first-base side, overlooking downtown Erie.

Erie plays host to a number of semi-pro and professional sports teams. The Erie SeaWolves play AA baseball in the Eastern League as an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The Erie Otters play hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. The Erie RiverRats are a member of the American Indoor Football Association. The Erie Illusion is a member of the National Women's Football Association. The Erie BayHawks are a member of the NBA Development League. Football and hockey games are played at Louis J.marker Tullio Arenamarker, while minor league baseball games are held at Jerry Uht Parkmarker.

Gannon Universitymarker, Mercyhurst Collegemarker, and Penn State Behrendmarker have active collegiate sports programs. The local high schools compete in District 10 sporting events as well as the annual McDonald's Classic. Scholastic and intramural sports are held at school and park facilities around the city. The Mercyhurst Ice Centermarker and Veterans Stadium are only two of the many sports arenas and stadiums available in and around the city.

Minutes away, just outside of North Eastmarker, is the Lake Erie Speedway, a 3/8 mile (0.6 km) NASCAR sanctioned race track. Horse racing is found at the Presque Isle Downsmarker racino in nearby Summit Townshipmarker.

Club League Venue Established Championships
Erie SeaWolves EL, Baseball Jerry Uht Parkmarker 1995 0
Erie Otters OHL, Ice hockey Louis J.marker Tullio Arenamarker 1996 1
Erie RiverRats AIFA, Indoor football Louis J.marker Tullio Arenamarker 2008 0
Erie BayHawks NBA D-League, Basketball Louis J.marker Tullio Arenamarker 2008 0
Erie Admirals SC NPSL, Soccer Family First Sports Park 2009 0
Erie Illusion NWFA, Women's football Tullio Field 2003 0


Erie's location along the shores of Lake Eriemarker provides a plethora of outdoor activities throughout the year. The region's largest attraction is Presque Isle State Parkmarker, drawing over four million visitors a year. The region grows grapes and produces the third largest amount of wine in the United States. Area sports arenas include Jerry Uht Parkmarker (the home of the Erie Seawolves) and Louis J.marker Tullio Arenamarker (the home of the Erie Otters and Erie RiverRats).

Erie Land Lighthouse

Erie is home to Presque Isle, a national landmark. The Seaway Trail runs through downtown Erie along the lakefront. The Tom Ridge Environmental Centermarker, at the foot of Presque Isle, features 7,000 sq ft (650 m²) of exhibit space.

Historical sites also draw people to Erie. Union Stationmarker and the Warner Theatremarker are historical buildings still in use. The Erie Playhouse is the third oldest community theater in the U.S., but is the most active.

Aerial view of Presque Isle State Park.
View is to the east-northeast.

Other tourist destinations include the Bayfront Convention Centermarker; the Bicentennial Towermarker that overlooks Lake Eriemarker; Dobbins Landingmarker, a pier in downtown Erie; the Erie Land Lightmarker; the Erie Maritime Museummarker, the home port of the US Brig Niagara; Millcreek Mallmarker, the 11th largest shopping mall in the United States, Perry Square, a large downtown park; Presque Isle Downsmarker, a racetrack and casino in Summit Township; Splash Lagoonmarker, the largest indoor waterpark on the East Coast and third largest in the United States; the Erie Zoomarker, with its many animals and exhibits; and Waldameer Park and Water Worldmarker, a local amusement park.


Erie's city government consists of a mayor and city council. The mayor's office includes an elected city treasurer and city controller. Each of seven districts elects a representative to the city council, and the membership selects a city council president and vice president from within their ranks. Each member serves a two-year term. The mayor is chief executive; the city council prepares legislation and conducts oversight. The city council meets in Mario S. Bagnoni Council Chambers at City Hall.

Erie City Hall

As of May 2007, Joseph Sinnott is mayor. Susan DiVecchio is city treasurer. Casimir J. Kwitowski is city controller. As of May 2007, the Erie City Council consists of: Rubye Jenkins-Husband, Curtis Jones Jr. (President), James N. Thompson, Patrick Cappabianca, Jessica Horan-Kunco and Joseph V. Schember.

In exchange for tax revenue, the city provides its residents with police and fire protection. For separate quarterly payments, the city provides garbage, recycling, water and sewer services. The city has come under criticism for cutting jobs in the public service sector, mostly in the Police and Fire Departments. The layoffs, mostly made in 2006, were meant to avoid bankruptcy and state takeover of the city's finances.

Laws are enforced by the Erie Police Department. In 2005, six murders were committed in Erie, compared to just one in 2004. Despite the rise in homicides, nonviolent crime in the city dropped by 14% in 2005 compared to 2004. Since 2000, Erie has been experiencing a spike in drug-related crimes, due in part to a decrease in police officers. Erie is the site of many major drug busts, although its crime rate is lower than the national average. Erie's homicide rate per 100,000 residents increased from 1 in 2004 to 5.8 in 2005. The number of assaults in the city increased to 191 in 2005. Property crime, theft, arson, and burglaries were down in 2005 from 2004, but rape was slightly higher.


Erie Public Schools enroll 12,527 students in primary and secondary grades. The district has 23 public schools including elementary, middle, high, and one charter school. Other than public schools, the city is home to more than 40 private schools and academies.

Erie also contains several colleges and universities. Created in the 1970s Penn State Erie, The Behrend Collegemarker is the largest Penn State branch. The university is noted for being one of the best value colleges in the country.

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), a large medical campus with branches in Bradenton, Floridamarker and Greensburg, Pennsylvaniamarker, has one of the largest enrollments of medical students in the country.

The Erie Maritime Museum, the Brig Niagara, and the Blasco Library.

Other notable colleges in the Erie area include Mercyhurst Collegemarker, with the number one rated Division II lacrosse team in the US; Allegheny Collegemarker, Edinboro University of Pennsylvaniamarker, a large college in nearby Edinboro; and Gannon Universitymarker, a Catholic university in downtown Erie.

Ranking Erie city and county officials, as well as officials of the Erie School District, began looking into the need for a community college in the Erie area in 2006. As of January 2008, county officials and representatives of Penn State-Behrend, Mercyhurst, and Gannon were in serious discussions expected to lead to the creation of Northwest Pennsylvania Community College by September 2009. Besides accreditation issues, officials must resolve whether to use local four-year educational institutions or to build a separate site in Summit Township for community college classes.

The public libraries in Erie are part of the Erie County library system. The Raymond M. Blasco, M. D. Memorial Library, named for its benefactor, opened in 1996. It is the third largest library in Pennsylvania. It is connected to the Erie Maritime Museummarker, both of which are part of a bayfront improvement project that includes the Bayfront Convention Centermarker and the Bicentennial Towermarker on Dobbins Landing.


Erie's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) generates an annual Erie Area Transportation Study for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportationmarker (PennDOT). There are 15 MPOs in the state, each consisting of local elected officials, representatives of major modes of transport, PennDOT officials, and others. Federal and state transportation regulations require urban areas of 50,000 or more in population to have an MPO to oversee short-term (four years) and long-term (20+ years) transportation planning.

Erie is well connected to the Interstate Highway System. Six highway exits from Interstate 90 connect travelers to Erie from Boston, Massachusettsmarker and points east, and from Cleveland, Ohiomarker and points west. Those traveling north to Erie on Interstate 79 can merge with Interstate 90 or continue north for several local Erie exits before the road merges into the Bayfront Parkway in downtown Erie. Southbound travelers on Interstate 79 can connect with Interstate 80 for points east to New Jersey or west to Akron, Ohiomarker or Youngstown, Ohiomarker, or continue south on Interstate 79 to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker and Charleston, West Virginiamarker. Interstate 86, also called the "Southern Tier Expressway," splits from Interstate 90 at North East, Pennsylvaniamarker and heads southeast through New York State to Binghamtonmarker.

The city has several arterial roads. Pennsylvania Route 5 (12th Street), U.S. Route 20 (26th Street and Buffalo Road), and 38th Street are major east-west routes through Erie's municipal roadway grid. The town is divided east from west at State Street, a major thoroughfare in downtown Erie. U.S. Route 19 is a major southwesterly route from downtown to a shopping area north of Interstate 90 known to locals as Upper Peach Streetmarker.

The Intermodal Transportation Center at the end of Holland Street
Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA) operates local and regional bus service seven days a week. A new city bus terminal opened in 2006. Connections are available to water taxi, rail services, and the airport. The Intermodal Transportation Center, which opened in 2002 at the Holland Street Pier, includes a commercial bus terminal. Greyhound Lines and Fullington Trailways provide daily bus service, including routes with local stops between Erie and DuBoismarker and Pittsburghmarker, with connections to other destinations.

The former "Water Level Route" of the New York Central Railroad (now the CSX mainline) travels directly through Erie. This is a major mainline for the railroad and sees scores of trains a day. The mainline of the Norfolk Southern Railway at one time ran directly down the middle of 19th Street in the city. Norfolk Southern decided to remove the 19th Street tracks in 1998. The 19th Street rail traffic is now routed onto the transcontinental mainline. Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited arrives at the Union Stationmarker, in downtown Erie, twice daily. Although there has been much discussion in recent years in favor of adding trains along the southern shore of Lake Eriemarker to link Buffalomarker with Clevelandmarker and beyond, there are no near-term plans to begin this service.

Erie International Airportmarker (IATA: ERI; IACOmarker: KERI), located 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the city, hosts general aviation, charter, and scheduled airline service. Airlines serving Erie include Continental Airlines, US Airways and Northwest Airlines. Tom Ridge Field was recognized by the Pennsylvaniamarker Department of Transportation as the fastest-growing airport in the state and by the US Department of Transportation as the 3rd fastest-growing airport in the United States in 2004.

The Port of Erie is in Presque Isle Bay, a natural harbor formed by Presque Isle. The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority provides water-taxi service in the summer months between Dobbins Landing and Liberty Park in downtown Erie, and the Waterworks ferry landing on Presque Isle.

A channel on the east side of Presque Isle allows ships to transit between the bay and Lake Erie. Cruise line services land at Dobbin's Landing rather than the Cruise Terminal built in 2002. A Great American Waterways cruise makes a 15-day run from Chicago to Warren, Rhode Islandmarker, with a stop in Erie on the eastern leg of the journey. The Great Lakes Cruise Company and the American Canadian Cruise Line advertise this cruise.


Hamot Heart Institute
Erie is a regional leader in health care with two of its hospitals being ranked nationally.

The Erie health care system includes:

St. Vincent Health System was founded in 1875 as St. Vincent's Hospital, Erie's first medical institution, by the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. It was chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1895 as the St. Vincent's Hospital Association. A school of nursing was established in 1901. Formal instruction of interns began in 1914. In 1981, St. Vincent's became the largest hospital in Pennsylvania, and one of the first hospitals in the country, to use computers to make medical records available to authorized personnel for patient treatment. St. Vincent Health Center became a subsidiary of St. Vincent Health System when the corporation was reorganized in 1988.

The Erie Shriners Hospital for Children has been operating in Erie since 1927. It won a 2007 achievement award from the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

One of Erie's largest employers, Hamot Medical Center, has consistently been ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country. Pierre Simon Vincent Hamot (died in 1846) was a successful local businessman whose homestead was donated by his descendants for the founding of the Hamot Hospital Association in 1881. The medical center, along with the Hamot Heart Institute (pictured at right), are part of the Hamot Health Foundation.

Hamot and St. Vincent organized two joint projects in the 1980s. The Tri-State Regional Trauma Center opened in 1983. The Regional Cancer Center (TRCC), founded in 1987, is one of the largest free-standing community cancer treatment centers in the United States.


The Erie Water Works, which was incorporated in 1865 as the Erie Water and Gas Company, includes a reservoir, two water treatment plants, and an elaborate water works and pipe network that provides water for most of the city and suburbs. Penelec, a FirstEnergy Company provides electricity to the region, as well as the Northwestern Pennsylvania Rural Electric Cooperative. Time Warner Cable became the region's TV cable provider after taking over Adelphia and also provides digital phone and high-speed internet to the region. Local telephone and high speed internet service is provided by Verizon.

Sewage service in Erie is provided by the Erie Sewer Authority, and many outlying townships have partnerships with the Sewer Authority for service. The Authority cleans about 30–40 million gallons of wastewater every day.

Sister cities

As of June 2007, Erie has four official sister cities as designated by Sister Cities International:

See also


External links

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