I initially researched this property for Preservation Erie’s 2021 Endangered Properties List, but found that, although it hasn’t been occupied since at least the mid 1990s, it has been maintained enough to keep it standing, it meets all code requirements, recently had a new roof, and the owner has no intention to sell or demolish it. It is a beautiful home with a ton of potential, that I genuinely hope it fulfills that potential someday.
According to census, directory, and newspaper resources, this home was originally built by Captain William H Hill and his wife, Mathilda Byers Hill in 1897. William H Hill was born in England and settled initially in Buffalo, NY. He was a member of the Buffalo fire department for 10 years, during which he received the title Master Mechanic. In 1884, he came to Erie to become the superintendent of Erie’s first Water and Gas plant. He then became the fire commissioner as appointed by the Mayor in 1889 and was manager of the Great Lakes Towing Association. William died in 1916 and his wife and three children lived at the home on W 4th Street until shortly before the widow’s death in 1931. It seems the home was converted into apartments around that time and had many residents over the years.
The exterior of the home shows glimpses of how grand it once was: intricate carvings along the top border the front porch and above the front door. There is a three story turret on the eastern side and bay windows on the facade of the first and second floors. It has a brick paver sidewalk spanning it’s length.
The property was purchased for $15,000 in 1996 by Peter Kubeja and he is the current owner. The home is a three unit apartment, with 3,772 square feet of living space.