The roads that wind around Mount Penn to the Pagoda are lined with a stone wall that was built from 1932 to 1934. The original building of the wall was funded and constructed by the Federal government under the Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his creation of the Works Progress Administration.
The wall extends the length of Skyline Drive and onto portions of McKnight’s Gap at the northern end of the drive and onto the Pagoda plateau.
The wall also extends along List Road and curves onto Oak Lane. Along the drive the wall breaks for three lookout points.
The Stone Wall was formed by part of a Rock Quarry located on the eastern slope of Mount Penn. The wall is approximately 2 feet wide by 3 feet high. This stone wall is dry cast in place and is squared in slope and style. There are approximately 2.5 miles of stone wall that extend across Skyline Drive and at certain places, becoming a double-run. A wall area is also located behind the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower. In addition, the wall extends about one mile in each direction of Oak Lane and List Road. There are three lookouts located on the road, which provides a spectacular view of the City of Reading.
The wall lies on roads of bends and curves, elevations and descent, reaching a summit of 1200 feet above sea level with grades of approximately 3 – 10% across the drive and road widths of 35-80 feet.
The reconstruction of Skyline Drive began in May of 2017. The more than $1 million project, a partnership among the city and Alsace and Lower Alsace townships, was funded in large part by a $969,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The project consisted of milling, reconstruction, base repair, paving overlays, and stone wall repair, and a bike and walking lane for Skyline Drive.