READING (/ˈrɛdɪŋ/ RED-ing ) (
The city, approximately halfway between
Reading was one of the first localities where outlet shopping became a tourist industry. It has been known as "The Pretzel City", because of numerous local pretzel bakeries. Currently, Bachman, Dieffenbach, Tom Sturgis, and Unique Pretzel bakeries call the Reading area home.
According to the 2010 census , Reading has the highest share of citizens living in poverty in the nation.
In recent years, the Reading area has become a destination for cyclists. With more than 125 miles of trails in five major preserves, it is an International Mountain Bicycling Association Ride Center and it annually hosts the Reading 120 international road cycling race.
In April 2017, it was announced that an indoor velodrome, or cycling track, will be built in Reading as the first of its kind on the East Coast and only the second in the entire country. Albright College and the World Cycling League formally announced plans April 6, 2017, to build the $20 million, 2,500-seat facility, which will be called the National Velodrome and Events Center at Albright College. It will also serve as the Cycling League's world headquarters.
* 1 History * 2 Climate * 3 Geography * 4 Economy
* 5 Transportation
* 5.1 Bus * 5.2 Roadways * 5.3 Airlines * 5.4 Rail
* 6 Demographics
* 6.1 Estimates
* 7 Neighborhoods * 8 Fire department * 9 Education * 10 Sports * 11 Culture * 12 Sister city * 13 Attractions * 14 In media * 15 Notable people * 16 References * 17 Further reading * 18 External links
The 500-block of Court Street in Downtown Reading, with Berks County courthouse on the left. Reading and its suburbs, 1955.
The Colony of
In 1743, Richard and Thomas Penn (sons of William Penn) mapped out
the town of Reading with
During the French and Indian War , Reading was a military base for a chain of forts along the Blue Mountain . Reading downtown as seen from Penn and 2nd Streets
By the time of the American Revolution , the area's iron industry had a total production exceeding England's. That output helped supply George Washington 's troops with cannons, rifles, and ammunition in the Revolutionary War. During the early period of the conflict, Reading was again a depot for military supply. Hessian prisoners from the Battle of Trenton were also detained here.
Susanna Cox was tried and convicted for infanticide in Reading in 1809. Her case attracted tremendous sympathy; 20,000 viewers came to view her hanging, swamping the 3,000 inhabitants.
Schuylkill Canal , a north-south canal completed in 1825,
CLIMATE CHART (EXPLANATION )
J F M A M J J A S O N D
3.1 38 22 2.5 41 23 3.5 51 31 3.8 62 41 4.2 72 50 3.8 81 60 4.5 85 64 3.6 83 63 4.3 76 55 3.2 64 43 3.5 53 35 3.3 42 26
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
J F M A M J J A S O N D
77 3 −6 63 5 −5 88 10 0 96 17 5 108 22 10 96 27 15 115 30 18 92 29 17 110 24 13 82 18 6 88 12 2 84 5 −3
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
The climate in and around Reading is variable, but relatively mild. The Reading area is considered a humid subtropical climate , with areas just to the north designated as a humid continental climate . Summers are warm and humid with average July highs around 85 °F. Extended periods of heat and high humidity occur. On average, there are 15–20 days per year where the temperature exceeds 90 °F. Reading becomes milder in the autumn, as the heat and humidity of summer relent to lower humidity and temperatures. The first killing frost generally occurs in mid to late October.
Winters bring freezing temperatures, but usually move above freezing during the day's warmest point. The average January high is 38; the average January low is 22 °F, but it is not unusual for winter temperatures to be much lower or higher than the averages. The all-time record low (not including wind chill) was −21 °F during a widespread cold wave in January 1994 . Snow is common in some winters, but the harsher winter conditions experienced to the north and west are not typical of Greater Reading. Annual snowfall is variable, but averages around 32 inches. Spring temperatures vary widely between freezing temperatures and the 80s or even 90s later in Spring. The last killing frost usually is in later April, but freezing temperatures have occurred in May. Total precipitation for the entire year is around 45 inches (112 cm).
CLIMATE DATA FOR READING REGIONAL AIRPORT , PENNSYLVANIA (1981–2010 NORMALS, EXTREMES 1894–PRESENT)
MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR
RECORD HIGH °F (°C) 77 (25) 77 (25) 88 (31) 97 (36) 96 (36) 102 (39) 107 (42) 105 (41) 102 (39) 94 (34) 84 (29) 77 (25) 107 (42)
MEAN MAXIMUM °F (°C) 59.1 (15.1) 60.6 (15.9) 72.9 (22.7) 83.6 (28.7) 88.6 (31.4) 92.5 (33.6) 95.1 (35.1) 93.5 (34.2) 88.9 (31.6) 80.8 (27.1) 71.8 (22.1) 60.7 (15.9) 96.8 (36)
AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C) 37.7 (3.2) 41.3 (5.2) 50.7 (10.4) 62.4 (16.9) 72.4 (22.4) 81.2 (27.3) 85.2 (29.6) 83.4 (28.6) 75.7 (24.3) 64.2 (17.9) 53.4 (11.9) 41.7 (5.4) 62.5 (16.9)
AVERAGE LOW °F (°C) 21.7 (−5.7) 23.2 (−4.9) 31.4 (−0.3) 40.7 (4.8) 49.9 (9.9) 59.8 (15.4) 64.3 (17.9) 62.5 (16.9) 55.0 (12.8) 43.2 (6.2) 34.7 (1.5) 26.1 (−3.3) 42.8 (6)
MEAN MINIMUM °F (°C) 3.5 (−15.8) 6.8 (−14) 14.4 (−9.8) 27.1 (−2.7) 36.1 (2.3) 46.2 (7.9) 53.0 (11.7) 50.5 (10.3) 40.2 (4.6) 29.9 (−1.2) 21.2 (−6) 10.6 (−11.9) 0.8 (−17.3)
RECORD LOW °F (°C) −20 (−29) −11 (−24) −2 (−19) 16 (−9) 26 (−3) 36 (2) 46 (8) 42 (6) 30 (−1) 20 (−7) 4 (−16) −6 (−21) −20 (−29)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES (MM) 3.05 (77.5) 2.48 (63) 3.48 (88.4) 3.77 (95.8) 4.24 (107.7) 3.78 (96) 4.52 (114.8) 3.64 (92.5) 4.34 (110.2) 3.22 (81.8) 3.46 (87.9) 3.29 (83.6) 43.27 (1,099.1)
Reading is located at 40°20′30″N 75°55′35″W /
40.34167°N 75.92639°W / 40.34167; -75.92639 (40.341692,
−75.926301) in southeastern
Companies based in Reading and surrounding communities include Boscov\'s , Carpenter , GK Elite Sportswear , Penske Truck Leasing , and Redner\'s Markets .
In 2012, The New York Times called Reading "the nation's poorest city."
According to the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the largest employers in the Berks county area are
# EMPLOYER # OF EMPLOYEES
1 Reading Hospital 6,878
2 East Penn Manufacturing Co. 6,851
3 Carpenter 2,432
4 County of Berks 2,370
5 Reading School District 1,903
7 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 1,818
8 Boscov\'s 1,740
9 St. Joseph Medical Center 1,566
10 Penske Truck Leasing 1,535
Jump Start Incubator, a program of Berks County Community Foundation and the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center, is intended to help entrepreneurs open new businesses in the area.
BARTA bus in downtown Reading.
Public transit in Reading and its surrounding communities has been provided since 1973 by BARTA , the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority. BARTA operates a fleet of 50 buses serving 19 routes, mostly originating at the BARTA Transportation Center in Downtown Reading. BARTA also provides paratransit service in addition to fixed route service. In addition, Greyhound and Bieber Transportation Group bus routes are available from the InterCity Bus Terminal. The former Reading Railroad Franklin Street Station was refurbished and reopened to bus service on September 9, 2013 with buses running the express route back and forth to Lebanon Transit . This Lebanon Route was discontinued after a short period. Now the refurbished Station sits vacant.
A number of federal and state highways allow entry to and egress from
U.S. Route 222
Reading and the surrounding area is serviced by the Reading Regional Airport , a general aviation airfield. The three-letter airport code for Reading is RDG. Scheduled commercial airline service to Reading ended in 2004, when the last airline, USAir stopped flying into Reading.
Passenger trains ran between Pottsville, Reading, Pottstown and
In the late 1990s and up to 2003, SEPTA, in cooperation with
BARTA , funded a study called the Schuylkill Valley
Metro which included plans to extend both sides of SEPTA's R6
passenger line to Pottstown , Reading, and
EST. 2016 87,575
As of the 2010 census , the city was 48.4% White, 13.2% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian, and 6.1% were two or more races. 58.2% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,113 households, out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% were married couples living together, 20.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.9% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,698, and the median income for a family was $31,067. Males had a median income of $28,114 versus $21,993 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,086. 26.1% of the population and 22.3% of families were below the poverty line . 36.5% of those under the age of 18 and 15.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
As of the American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Reading had a population of 80,997. The racial makeup of the city was 48.8% White , 14.0% African American , 0.2% Native American , 1.4% Asian , 0.0% Pacific Islander , 31.1% from other races , and 4.5% from two or more races. 56.3% were Hispanic or Latino of any race, with 33.5% being of Puerto Rican descent. 33.0% of all people were living below the poverty line, including 42.0% of those under 18.
According to the US
NAME AREA POPULATION
Center City 0.381 sq. mi 5,374
Callowhill 0.751 sq. mi 7,289
Centre Park 0.615 sq. mi 10,781
College Heights 1.295 sq. mi 14,903
East Reading 2.230 sq. mi 34,572
Eastside 1.849 sq. mi 29,198
Glenside 2.303 sq. mi 11,837
Hampden Heights 3.144 sq. mi 44,101
Millmont 1.024 sq. mi 5,298
North Riverside 0.955 sq. mi 12,674
Northmont 0.035 sq. mi 697
Northside 0.187 sq. mi 1,822
Outlet District 0.554 sq. mi 14,295
Penn's Commons 0.796 sq. mi 15,891
Prince Historic District 0.123 sq. mi 2,002
Queen Anne Historic District 0.330 sq. mi 6,359
Southside 1.486 sq. mi 10,317
South of Penn 1.122 sq. mi 8,483
The Reading Fire Museum Main article: Reading Fire Department
The city of Reading is protected by the 135 firefighters and paramedics of the Reading Fire and EMS Department (RFD). The RFD operates out of seven fire stations throughout the city. The RFD operates a fire apparatus fleet of five Engine Companies, three Ladder Companies, one Rescue Company, brush unit, and four front-line Medic Ambulances. In 2016, fire units responded to 9,751 incidents. EMS responses totaled 19,058 calls for service.
As of April 1, 2011, Engines 13 and 14 were disbanded due to budget cuts. Engine 13 was quartered with Engine 1 and Engine 14 was quartered with Engine 5. Also, Engine 7 was re-organized from Engine 11. Department staffing is 2 firefighters per apparatus.
Reading High School
Press reports have indicated that in 2012, about eight percent of Reading's residents have a college degree, compared to a national average of 28%.
Three institutions of higher learning are located in Reading:
Four high schools serve the city:
FirstEnergy Stadium , 2006.
Reading is known for the
Reading Fightin Phils
The city has been the residence of numerous professional athletes.
Among these native to Reading are
Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder Carl
The open-wheel racing portion of
Penske Racing had been based in
Duryea Drive, which ascends Mount Penn in a series of switchbacks ,
was a testing place for early automobiles and was named for Charles
Duryea . The Blue Mountain Region
Sports Car Club of America hosts the
Duryea Hill Climb, the longest in the
CLUB LEAGUE VENUE ESTABLISHED CHAMPIONSHIPS
READING FIGHTIN PHILS EL , Baseball FirstEnergy Stadium 1967 4
READING UNITED AC USL , Soccer Don Thomas Stadium 1996
Reading Public Museum in 2011.
The city's cultural institutions include the Reading Symphony
Orchestra and its education project the Reading Symphony Youth
Orchestra , the
Reading Choral Society , Opus One: Berks Chamber Choir
Reading is the birthplace of graphic artist
Jim Steranko , guitar
Reading is home to the 14-time world-champion drum and bugle corps, the Reading Buccaneers .
In 1914, one the anchors of the Battleship
Reading was home to several movie and theater palaces in the early 20th Century. The Astor, Embassy, Loew's Colonial, and Rajah Shrine Theater were grand monuments of architecture and entertainment. Today, after depression, recession, and urban renewal, the Rajah is the only one to remain. The Astor Theater was demolished in 1998 to make way for The Sovereign Center . Certain steps were taken to retain mementos of the Astor, including its ornate Art Deco chandelier and gates. These are on display and in use inside the arena corridors, allowing insight into the ambiance of the former movie house. In 2000, the Rajah was purchased from the Shriners . After a much needed restoration, it was renamed the Sovereign Performing Arts Center .
The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is a membership-supported museum and restoration facility located at Carl A. Spaatz Field. The museum actively displays and restores historic and rare war aircraft and civilian airliners. Most notable to their collection is a Northrop P-61 Black Widow under active restoration since its recovery from Mount Cyclops, New Guinea in 1989. Beginning in 1990, the museum has hosted "World War II Weekend Air Show", scheduled to coincide with D-Day . On display are period wartime aircraft (many of which fly throughout the show) vehicles, and weapons.
The mechanical ice cream scoop was invented in Reading by William Clewell in 1878. The 5th Ave Bar and York Peppermint Patty were invented in Reading.
The City of Reading and Reutlingen,
Reading is twinned with:
* Reutlingen , Baden-Württemberg, Germany, since 1998
In 1908, a Japanese-style pagoda was built on Mount Penn, where it
overlooks the city and is visible from almost everywhere in town.
Locally, it is called the "
Another fixture in Reading's skyline is the
The Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company founded in 1899,
just outside Reading city limits, in West Reading and Wyomissing
boroughs changed its name to Vanity Fair in 1911 and is now the major
The book and movie Rabbit, Run and the other three novels of the Rabbit series by John Updike were set in fictionalized versions of Reading and nearby Shillington , called Brewer and Olinger respectively. Updike was born in Reading and lived in nearby Shillington until he was thirteen. He also makes reference to the Brewer suburb of Mount Judge, equivalent to Mount Penn east of Reading.
Filmmakers Gary Adelstein, Costa Mantis, and Jerry Orr created Reading 1974: Portrait of a City; relying heavily on montage, the film is a cultural time capsule.
The play Sweat by Lynn Nottage is set in Reading.
* Gus Alberts (1861–1912), Major League Baseball player * Coit Albertson (1880–1953), silent film actor * George Warren Alexander (1829-1903), captain of the Reading Artillerists (1857-1861); second in command, 47th Pennsylvania Infantry (1861-1864); and founder of G.W. Alexander ">
* ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010. * ^ Official precipitation measurements for Reading were taken at an undisclosed location from January 1894 to February 1973, a COOP 4 mi (6.4 km) north-northwest of downtown from March 1973 to January 1999, and Reading Regional since February 1999. Temperature, snowfall and snow depth records date to February 1903, 23 November 1897, and 26 September 1908, respectively.
* ^ "Baseballtown Charities". baseballtown.org. November 27, 2012.
Retrieved October 23, 2017.
* ^ Kline, Dave. "Mountain Folklore: Berks Country Fest is all
about music, culture, food".
Reading Eagle . Retrieved 26 June 2017.
* ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files".
* Reading Eagle archive, Google News Archive, 1868–2000. —PDFs of 38,630 issues. * Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr., The Socialists of Reading, Pennsylvanian and World War I: A Question of Loyalty," Pennsylvania History, vol. 36, no. 4 (October 1969), pp. 430–450. In JSTOR * Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr., "The Socialist Administration in Reading, Pennsylvania, Part I, 1927–1931," Pennsylvania