Watson-Curtze Mansion and Carriage House
Erie County Historical Society | Erie, Pennsylvania
Mansion Main Hall
Award-Winning Lighting Design
Modern lighting technology enlivens historic architecture
Unobtrusive Air Conditioning
Custom enclosures achieve a period look
Climate-Controlled Archive Center
Preserves historical resources while making them publicly available
Reviving a historic mansion for a new generation
With the help of a capital campaign, the Erie County Historical Society (ECHS) transformed the Watson-Curtze Mansion and Carriage House into an integrated and consolidated History Center.
The 3-story Mansion was built in 1891 as a private residence. It has been a public museum since 1941 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. With this project, ECHS renovated and restored the 3-story Mansion. Today, the upper two floors feature museum exhibits, while the first floor shows off furnished and decorated rooms. ECHS also remodeled the Carriage House and added a 10,000-SF archives building.
Though the renovations incorporated modern MEP systems, maintaining the Mansion’s look and feel was a priority. The team added air conditioning, replaced the electrical service, rewired the the building, and added new lighting. Through their design approach, they preserved and highlighted the intricate details of the building, including damask wall coverings, mosaics, Tiffany glass, ornately carved and pierced woodwork, and hand-painted ceilings.