City Name :: Reading, PA
Population :: 81,207
Established :: 1748
Reading is a city in southeastern Pennsylvania, the seat of Berks County and is the fifth largest city in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie.
Overlooking the city on Mount Penn is Reading's symbol, a Japanese-style pagoda visible from everywhere in town and referred to locally as "the Pagoda." It was built in 1908 as a hotel and restaurant, but was never used for that purpose. It remains a tourist attraction.
Duryea Drive, which ascends Mount Penn in a series of sharp bends, was a testing place for early automobiles and was named for Charles Duryea. The Blue Mountain Region SCCA hosts the longest hill climb in the PHA series, the Duryea Hill Climb, which follows the same route the automaker used to test his cars.
The city lent its name to the now-defunct Reading Railroad, which brought anthracite coal from the Pennsylvania Coal Region to cities along the Schuylkill River. The railroad is one of the four railroad properties in the classic English-language version of the Monopoly board game.
During the general decline of heavy manufacturing, 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.
It is also known as "Baseballtown," after the Reading Phillies trademarked this moniker to market Reading's rich baseball history.
The book and movie Rabbit, Run and others of the Rabbit series were set in fictionalized versions of Reading and nearby Shillington, called Brewer and Olinger respectively. These stories were written by John Updike, who was born in Reading and lived in nearby Shillington until he was thirteen.
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