Erie museum to hold grand reopening.

History is back. 

The Hagen History Center, which closed in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will hold its grand reopening this coming weekend, complete with new exhibits, free tours and a bounty of entertainment. 

The reopening, which is scheduled for Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and July 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will provide free public access to exhibits and artifacts including the recently reassembled San Francisco office of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

This is Frank Lloyd Wright's San Francisco office, which will be permanently displayed at the Hagen History Center in Erie beginning Saturday.

The office was most recently exhibited in Pittsburgh, then reassembled and rebuilt at the Hagen History Center at 356 W. Sixth St., where it is on permanent display.

“We also have panels that show off a lot of local buildings and homes that exhibit Wright’s influence,” said Pam Parker, project manager at the Hagen History Center. “The interest from locals and out-of-towners has been incredible.”

A new home:Frank Lloyd Wright’s California office has new address: Erie’s Hagen History Center

New exhibits:Hagen History Center plans to unveil nine new exhibits during campus reopening in July

Moving crews surround a 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet, once owned by architect Frank Lloyd Wright on June 25 after it was placed inside the Hagen History Center in Erie. The car is on loan to the museum from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana. It sits next to a 1950 Crosley Hotshot roadster, background, one of many also owned by Wright.

Other exhibits will feature:

  • Erie Extension Canal, which connected the Great Lakes to the Ohio River near Pittsburgh in the 1800s;
  • Oliver Hazard Perry, including his sword, telescope, bust and other related artifacts;
  • Watson-Curtze Mansion, including Winifred Watson’s recreated childhood bedroom and servants’ quarters open for the first time;
  • Griswold cast iron cookware on display in the Watson-Curtze Mansion kitchen;
  • Erie’s historic buildings, including an interactive screen that shows more than 1,000 homes dating back 75 years and a Minecraft game that will allow children to build their own houses;
  • Erie area veterans, in the Wood-Morrison House.

Hidden Erie:Erie Extension Canal once connected Lake Erie to the Ohio River

In February, Hagen History Center Museum Educator Jeff Sherry holds a sword once owned by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. The sword will be on display when the center reopens to the public on Saturday.

The reopening weekend will be preceded by a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, in which Hagen History Center benefactor Tom Hagen is expected to open the center’s newest exhibit building. The event is for sponsors only. 

The Hagen History Center will hold its annual meeting for members only on Wednesday at 6 p.m., and a picnic for volunteers only on Thursday, from 5-7 p.m.

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