Our beautiful property was built as a gift to Rose Koehler in 1891, on the occasion of her marriage to Adolf Curtze. Rose was heiress to and principal stockholder of the Koehler Brewing Company, founded by her grandfather Charles Koehler. An intelligent woman of high standards, Rose valued hospitality, graciously welcoming family and friends to her gardens, fountains and home for conversation over tea or dinner.
Rose's quiet philanthropy became evident at her death in 1971 when numerous charities reaped the benefits of her generosity. Rose would be delighted that her property is destined to renew and revitalize individuals and the community, through hospitality and the natural environment where her gardens, fountains and trees still flourish more than a century later!
The mansion became home to the corporate offices of Lyons Transportation Lines, Inc., whose chairman, John J. Cochran, was a visionary community leader with a passion for history. He is credited with preserving the mansion and grounds, and introducing the imposing facade of the original First National Bank (circa 1886) from downtown Erie when it was destined for the wrecking ball in 1970. Mr. Cochran purchased it the bank façade and had its 200 limestone slabs relocated and rebuilt "stone-by-stone" to reface a new addition connecting the original mansion with its historic carriage house.
The First National Bank remains the oldest bank in Erie County. Cochran's vision of reclaiming two unique and valuable historic architectural landmarks in Erie is a fitting metaphor for BLOOM Collaborative, where individuals and community gather to restore and renew body, mind and spirit through creative expression, wellness activities and skills acquisition.