14 04, 2024

C. K. Whitner’s Department Store and the Southwest Corner of Fifth and Penn Streets

2024-04-14T14:35:07-04:00April 14th, 2024|Department Stores|0 Comments

Whitner's Department Store has a rich history, beginning in 1877 when Calvin K. Whitner, a farmer-turned-storekeeper, opened his first store in Reading at 432 Penn St. Despite initial doubts from local merchants, Whitner's enterprise flourished, growing from a modest establishment into one of [...]

8 04, 2024

City’s “Gate” sculpture by Robinson Fredenthal

2024-04-08T17:43:55-04:00April 8th, 2024|Art|0 Comments

The "Gate" is an outdoor metal sculpture by Robinson Fredenthal, commissioned by the Reading Redevelopment Authority for the North Sixth and Penn streets courtyard in the Downtown East Urban Renewal Area. It was assembled by Eastern Machine Products Inc. and involved a complex [...]

31 03, 2024

Reading’s First Renewal Plan

2024-04-01T07:11:43-04:00March 31st, 2024|Urban Renewal|0 Comments

Penn Street for many years was a vibrant thoroughfare where people enjoyed shopping. Theaters, various types of commercial establishments, and public events attracted thousands to the occasionally crowded Penn Square. In addition to experiencing foot pain, consumers endured the nearly imperceptible ascent from Third [...]

26 03, 2024

The Eric Theater – 3225 N. Fifth St., Muhlenberg Township

2024-03-26T18:55:58-04:00March 26th, 2024|Theaters-Drive-Ins|0 Comments

In 1969, a $165,000 bond was put in place for the building of the Eric Theater near Allentown Pike and Elizabeth Avenue in Muhlenberg Township as part of the Madeira Mall tract. At first, it was a project of the Peach Development Co. [...]

17 03, 2024

Rosenbaum Clothier and Hatter – 700-702 Penn Street, Reading, PA

2024-03-17T13:54:22-04:00March 17th, 2024|Businesses-Industry, Uncategorized|0 Comments

In 1893, David Rosenbaum constructed one of Reading's most exquisite and ornamental structures. Mr. Rosenbaum moved to Reading in 1882 and purchased the property at 702 Penn Street and the southeast corner lot at Seventh and Penn Streets, where he founded his Clothier [...]

11 03, 2024

The Loew’s Colonial Theatre – Reading, PA

2024-03-11T07:54:21-04:00March 11th, 2024|Theaters-Drive-Ins, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Colonial Theatre, built by Carr and Schad in 1916 on the Breneiser property at 651–667 Penn Street between Ellis Mills and Hotel Allen, was the first premium movie house built "uptown." The film “Sleeping Fires,” starring Pauline Frederick, opened on April 15, [...]

8 03, 2024

Construction of the Court Street Bridge – Reading, PA

2024-03-08T17:21:14-04:00March 8th, 2024|Bridges-Viaducts|0 Comments

The current Court Street Bridge was created as part of the Downtown East Urban Renewal Project. Construction of the bridge began in 1970 and was completed in 1971. The bridge was built as part of a plan to expand the traffic capacity of [...]

17 02, 2024

Urban renewal of the 1960s and 1970s – the good, the bad, and the ugly

2024-02-17T14:09:27-04:00February 17th, 2024|Urban Renewal|1 Comment

During the 1970s, there was an uncommon level of consensus in Reading politics; almost everyone agreed that downtown Reading was once the best location on Earth. Obviously, by that point, the downtown area had been transformed into parking lots as building after building had [...]

1 01, 2024

When Reading had its own Mummers’ Day Parade

2024-01-01T14:28:33-04:00January 1st, 2024|History|0 Comments

Special contribution by Local Historian "Sharon Merolli." The following is a description of the first and only parade of the Mummers’ Association in Reading on January 1, 1908, from various news articles by the Reading Eagle and Reading Times. On a crisp and [...]

29 12, 2023

Leinbach’s Hill, West Reading

2023-12-29T22:45:54-04:00December 29th, 2023|Bridges-Viaducts, Landmarks|0 Comments

Anyone traveling into West Reading across the Penn Street Viaduct has probably noticed at one time or another the large rock formation on the right against the exit ramp for motorists traveling West on the By-Pass into West Reading. The rock formation is [...]

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