Reading, Pennsylvania is the county seat of Berks County and is the home of 81,207 residents.
The city was founded by the sons of William Penn in 1743, and named after the town of Reading in England. The town was able to supply George Washington’s troops with their weapons, having become an iron producing area. There was more iron produced in Reading than in all of England at that time. Now, the Japanese Pagoda at Skyline Drive is a symbol of the city and one of its tourist attractions.
With the decline of mining and the closing of the Reading Railroad, the city has since developed other industries. Vanity Fair’s clothing manufacturing plant and VF Outlet Mall, the very first of its kind in the US is in Reading. Thanks to Reading, the outlet mall became a tourist attraction and almost every city now has at least one. The city has Albright College, Alvernia University and Pace Institute to help drive its economy. Also known as the “Pretzel City” Reading is famous nationally for its pretzels baked in many bakeries around town. Looking for a tour of a pretzel factory or information about them? The local business directory can provide that information for you.
John Updike used Reading and Shillington as locations for his ‘Rabbit’ series of books. Most of Reading’s neighborhoods are mixed use, shopping and residential, while many are single family homes on lovely streets.
A sport town, there are several semi-professional teams in baseball, hockey, indoor football, soccer and basketball. The Reading Symphony Orchestra, the Reading Youth Orchestra, and the Historical Society of Berks County add to the cultural flavor of the city. There are various ethnic restaurants and lots of shopping venues. Checking the Pennsylvania yellow pages can provide restaurant and store numbers.
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