The Thomas B. Hagen Building is a $147 million, 346,000-square-foot addition to ERIE’s home office campus in Erie, Pennsylvania
ERIE, Pa., September 15, 2021 – Erie Insurance (ERIE) today dedicated its newest office building to Chairman of the Board, civic leader and philanthropist Tom Hagen. The new $147 million, 346,000-square-foot building was officially named “The Thomas B. Hagen Building” during a dedication ceremony held this morning in downtown Erie.
The dedication was attended by Hagen and his family as well as other company and community leaders, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember. The ceremony was broadcast live to more than 6,000 Erie Insurance employees across 12 states and the District of Columbia.
Hagen began his career at Erie Insurance as a part-time file clerk on September 15, 1953 — exactly 68 years to the day of the building dedication ceremony — and he retired 40 years later as Chairman and CEO of the company. Hagen still serves as Chairman of the Board. The Thomas B. Hagen Building is located next to the Erie Insurance Heritage Center, ERIE’s first owned home office building and where Hagen began his career.
A close associate of his father-in-law, Erie Insurance co-founder H.O. Hirt, Hagen shared and promoted the business values Hirt set in place in 1925, according to Erie Insurance President and CEO Tim NeCastro.
“While this is an amazing architectural addition to our campus and our city, it’s also a monumental tribute to a man who has led Erie Insurance from a small local auto insurer to a Fortune 500 company selling auto, home, business and life insurance with more than six million policies in force today,” said NeCastro. “Throughout his years with the company, Tom has been a true champion of ERIE’s culture – preserving the traditions and values that H.O. put forth more than 96 years ago. Practicing the Golden Rule. Sharing the ERIE Family Spirit. Being Above all in Service. This is a man who truly lives and breathes those values.”
A retired U.S. Navy Captain with 30 years of military service, Hagen is also devoted to the community as an active civic leader, philanthropist, preservationist and historian. He has led and contributed to countless humanitarian, cultural, community development, educational and historic building restoration projects in Erie and has served on local and state boards dedicated to those endeavors.
Hagen has also been a public servant, serving as Pennsylvania's 28th Secretary of Commerce and first Secretary of Community and Economic Development, and was named a Distinguished Citizen of the Commonwealth by The Pennsylvania Society.
"It is a pleasure to mark this exciting moment for Erie Insurance and to honor the achievements of Tom Hagen. Throughout his life, Tom has had a profound effect on our commonwealth and his work has made a difference in all areas of public life," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. "We celebrate the dedication of this state-of-the-art building in Tom’s honor. In recognition of all that he has done for Erie Insurance, the Erie community, and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor."
Erie Insurance first announced the expansion project in November 2016 and broke ground on the building in the spring of 2017. The seven-story Thomas B. Hagen Building was designed to accommodate up to 1,300 employees and was built to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification standards. It features vegetated roofs and two pedestrian bridges connecting the new building to the rest of ERIE’s downtown campus. The two-story main lobby houses distinctive features such as a water wall feature, a grand staircase and displays that celebrate the company’s history.
“Our team has joked the last 17 months have been like having a baby and not being able to show it off. Today, that ends,” remarked Jeffrey Brinling, ERIE’s senior vice president of corporate services. “Our ERIE Family is proud of our latest addition to the campus and Erie’s downtown.”
The architect for the project was Albert Kahn and Associates, the construction manager was PJ Dick and the concrete contractor was E.E. Austin & Son. Several other local contractors and skilled craftsmen also worked on the project.