The Complicated Saga of Downtown Erie's Transitway Mall

July 19th,2023 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: Ed  Whitbred, B.S.

The Complicated Saga of Downtown Erie's Transitway Mall

In the world of well intentioned, but ultimately futile investment of government dollars, The Transitway Mall was chump change compared to the massive boondoggles that happen on a regular basis. Yet, on a small scale, it tells a story of how changes in the way we live have a ripple effect on the world around us. Ed Whitbred grew up a block and a half from Perry Square and four blocks from The Boston Store.   He came of age when downtown was still in its golden years. Like most folks of a certain age, he witnessed the slow transformation into the hodge podge of smaller retail outlets, senior housing, sports and entertainment centers and an abundance of bars and restaurants. How did the downtown area start?  Why did it change? Could the transformation have been stopped? What part did Erie's legendary mayor, Lou Tullio, play in creating the Transitway experiment? Like most things in life, there is no single reason for this "good, big, mistake".  But at the heart of this is the single word, "transit". Changes in how people got from here to there on a day to day, basis, changed almost everything in our lives. It also made the Transitway Mall a non-starter although a great story.


Location: Jefferson Educational Society - 3207 State Street, Erie, PA 16508

Date/Time: Wednesday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Admission: FREE

Parking: lot behind building, State Street, 33rd Street, 32nd Street, French Street

Ed  Whitbred, B.S.

Ed Whitbred, B.S., is an Erie “Lifer” who grew up in the neighborhood he will discuss. He attended Jones School, East High, and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and taught for two years at McDowell High School in Millcreek. He then spent 35 years at Procter and Gamble where he wore a number of hats but was always paid by the sales department. For 18 years he has been one of the hosts and producers for “The Amazing Grays,” a senior-oriented television show produced by Community Access Media. As a lay worship leader in the Lutheran Church, he has been preaching and conducting services about once a month for more than a decade, and he is the program chairman for the Y Speakers Series.