William L. Scott, former mayor of the City of Erie and wealthy
investor, commissioned the construction of this home in 1888. The home
was given to Scott’s daughter, Annie Wainwright, and her husband,
Charles Hamot Strong, of the prominent Strong family. Strong was
recognized as a respected businessman who invested in railroads and
utilities. The Strong Mansion was completed in 1896 – taking almost a
decade to construct – and was designed by E.B. Green, partner of
Buffalo architecture firm Green and Wicks. The house cost $480,000
dollars to build and is comprised of forty-six rooms.
The Strong family lived lavishly in their home on the edge of
“Millionaire’s Row.” They had forty to fifty servants, which enabled
them to throw extravagant parties and entertain guests such as
Presidents William Taft and Grover Cleveland. The Strong Mansion was
undoubtedly as social hub in the heart of downtown Erie.
In 1941, Bishop John M. Gannon bought the Strong Mansion to serve as an
administration center for Cathedral College, now known as Gannon
University. The interior of the building has been converted into office
space, yet its intricate details have been preserved.