Introduction to Reading, Pennsylvania
Reading is situated in the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania in Berks County. The Schuylkill River, Mount Penn and Neversink Mountain are nearby. The Reading Railroad took its name from the city and is featured in the popular Monopoly board game.
The city was laid out in 1743 by Richard and Thomas Penn, the sons of William Penn, who established the state of Pennsylvania. The name was given to the city in tribute to Reading, England their former home. The city was utilized as a military base during the French and Indian War. During this era, a large number of people were migrating to the region from Germany. Reading played a significant role during the American Revolution. The iron industry in the area was constructing cannons, ammunition, rifles and other items for George Washington's soldiers.
The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad was incorporated in the year 1883 and thrived for more than a century; however due to a steep reduction in profits from transporting coal and tight government regulations, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 1971. Beginning with the 1940's and for most of the 1970's the city's economy significantly declined, primarily attributed to the downturn for heavy industries as well as the railroads. In the 1970's, former textile mills near Reading were utilized to produce the VF Outlet Village which has been recognized as the first outlet mall in the country.
The Berks Area Reading Transit Authority provides bus transportation for the area. The city is primarily served by the airport in Philadelphia.
- Reading Public Museum has numerous collections of artifacts from all over the world, including a mummy
- Mount Penn offers great views of the city
- The noteworthy Pagoda on Mount Penn showcases a variety of artwork
- Goggle Works Center for the Arts hosts numerous exhibitions and includes a small theater
- VF Outlet Complex is very popular for shoppers
- Sovereign Center hosts numerous sporting events including hockey games played by the Reading Royals
- The Reading Phillies is a local baseball team
- Mid-Atlantic Air Museum
- Arts & Antiques Fair
- African-American Museum
- Sovereign Performing Arts Center
- Apple Dumpling Festival
- Center Park Victorian Historic District
- Reading Railroad Heritage Museum
- Berks Jazz Fest
- Daniel Boone Homestead
- Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
Reading is home to numerous colleges including:
- Albright College
- Pace Institute
- Berks Technical Institute
- Reading Area Community College
- Alvernia College