The Mercyhurst University History Department unveils Erie Places, Erie Stories – a photographic and oral history exhibition showcasing a sampling of Erie’s many historic buildings – on Friday, Dec. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Center City Arts/Bloom Collaborative, 138 E. 26th St. The exhibit, completed by Mercyhurst public history students as a hands-on learning initiative, is part of the Center City Arts 10th Annual Show and Sale and is free and open to the public.
Led by history professor Chris Magoc, Ph.D., the semester-long project has had Mercyhurst history students photographing Erie’s historic structures, collecting oral histories from people familiar with the buildings and assembling their work in a striking photographic tableau. After its December preview, the exhibit will go on display in the lobby of Erie City Hall Jan. 10-31 with viewing during regular business hours, weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The efforts of these Mercyhurst students will also contribute to the first countywide survey of historic buildings in more than three decades being undertaken by Preservation Erie, of which Magoc is a co-founder, its long-time former president and current board member.
“The built landscape of any city is a tangible expression of its identity, and public historians appreciate the fact that a region’s future is deeply rooted in its past,” Magoc said. “This project allows our students to become public historians: photographing historic neighborhoods and buildings, interviewing citizens with a connection to and understanding of a building’s features and local significance, and putting an exhibition together that will feature both the images and captions containing excerpts of those interviews. The result will broaden public awareness of and appreciation for Erie’s distinctive, historic built landscape.”
For more information, contact Magoc at 814-824-2075; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.