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 [...]

12 02, 2022

The 400 Block of Penn Street

2022-02-12T06:12:31-04:00February 12th, 2022|Businesses-Industry, Culture, Department Stores|Comments Off on The 400 Block of Penn Street

Everything could be bought in that 400 block, from food to a diamond, from tires to a clock. Below: 400 block of Penn Street. North Side. First there was Kins for fine ladies to shop, and Pep Boys and Charles Auto Took good [...]

5 02, 2021

Five and Dimes of Main Street, Reading, PA

2021-06-04T12:05:13-04:00February 5th, 2021|Culture, Department Stores|0 Comments

When Woolworth's declared bankruptcy back in 1997, it marked the symbolic end of an era when beloved "five and dime" stores could be found in every big city and small town in America. Woolworth's, Kresge’s, Grant's, McCrory’s, and Green’s were all once a [...]

5 02, 2021

F. W. Woolworth Store, 530-534 Penn Street

2021-06-04T12:05:14-04:00February 5th, 2021|Department Stores|0 Comments

On September 20, 1884, F. W. Woolworth opened a store in Reading, PA at 530-534 Penn Street. The F. W. Woolworth Company (often referred to as Woolworth's or Woolworth) was a retail company and one of the original pioneers of the five-and-dime store. [...]

15 12, 2020

Boscov’s Original Store, Ninth and Pike Street, Reading, PA

2021-06-04T12:13:25-04:00December 15th, 2020|Department Stores|0 Comments

Solomon Boscov was born the son of Molshe and Vassa Boscov, he left his native Russia and immigrated to the United States in 1911 with only about $12 in his pocket. His first endeavor was peddling lemonade on the streets of Washington, D. [...]

14 12, 2020

Burn’s Department Store, Laureldale, PA

2021-06-04T12:13:31-04:00December 14th, 2020|Department Stores|0 Comments

On Decembers, 1928, Catherine Burns opened The Rosedale Variety Shop at 1505 Elizabeth Avenue. The business was quite successful, in no small measure due to Catherine's outgoing nature and well-chosen stock. In 1950, the old store was razed and replaced by one three [...]

13 07, 2020

Penn Square Pedestrian Mall

2020-09-08T05:09:09-04:00July 13th, 2020|Businesses-Industry, Department Stores, Landmarks|0 Comments

The Penn Square Pedestrian Mall was originally a component of a much larger urban renewal plan. Sasaki Associates' Downtown East Urban Renewal Plan of 1971 proposed an enclosed shopping mall in downtown Reading to compete with shopping malls being built in the suburbs. [...]

8 07, 2020

Fairgrounds Square Mall Redevelopment

2020-12-17T12:21:59-04:00July 8th, 2020|Businesses-Industry, Department Stores, News|0 Comments

The 750,000 sq ft Fairgrounds Square Mall was developed by Interstate Properties in the late 1970’s. Recognizing the potential of the Berks retail trade area and the need for a pleasant climate-controlled atmosphere the mall was constructed at the former location of the [...]

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