Our neighborhood is home to one of the premier high schools in the state of Pennsylvania; Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy.
The "Collegiate" building is the signature building in our neighborhood and it has great historic value. The school also has great nostalgic value for the thousands who have walked the halls since the school opened in 1920 as Academy High School. I found this Academy High varsity letter in, of all places, Cici's Pizza in Harborcreek.
Every day hundreds of people with ties to the school visit our neighborhood. Students, parents, teachers, and staff all spend their days here. But what kind of impressions of our neighborhood do they leave with? Do they feel compelled to spend more time here? To buy a home here? To invest in a business venture here? If the answer to any of these questions is "no" then we know we have to start making some changes.
The first, admittedly very small, change I am hoping to make is to start making a list of neighborhood assets. Collegiate Academy is at the top of that list.
A few months back the Erie Times-News published a photo essay about the painted relief sculptures on the southern portion of the building. I had never, in my ten years of living on East 30th Street, taken the time to stop and look at these pieces of artwork. If I remember correctly, the article in the Times-News stated that the pictures were meant to depict the various trades someone who attended the school might find themselves working in after graduation. Here are photos of all six...