Dutch Colony Motor Inn

Dutch Colony Motor Inn

The Dutch Colony Motor Inn started operations in 1964 by Erna and R. Harding “Breity” Breithaupt. Breity Breithaupt was an aviation pioneer and owned Reading Aviation Service at Reading Regional Airport. A few years after opening they added the Antique Airplane Restaurant, named fittingly due to a 1927 Monocoupe, last flown in the 1966 Reading Air Show, hanging from it’s ceiling inside the restaurant.

The Dutch Colony Motor Inn was closed and demolished in 2007, to make way for the Exeter Commons shopping center along Perkiomen Avenue. Now, yet another strip mall stands in it’s place.

Dutch Colony Motor Inn

What happened to the plane, you ask?

Berks County, PA –  The antique airplane that “flew” over diners’ heads for 40 years finally made a landing Tuesday at the Dutch Colony Inn & Suites.

The 1927 Monocoupe had been suspended from the ceiling of the hotel restaurant since 1967 after it was bought and restored by former Dutch Colony owner R.H. “Breity” Breithaupt.

The Exeter Township business closed Monday, and the property is expected to be cleared for a shopping center.

The plane, the namesake of the Antique Airplane Restaurant, was donated to the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel.

Museum President Paul Dougherty Jr. said volunteers usually pick up old planes in pieces from hangars and garages. This was the first time they extracted one from a restaurant.

Volunteers started removing the plane Tuesday by disassembling the propeller and tail. They lowered the 753-pound plane to the floor using two jacks. Once the plane was no longer airborne, they removed a wing so the aircraft would fit through doorways.

“It was real interesting getting it out,” Dougherty said. “We didn’t have to put butter on the sides of the doors, but it was close.”

Dutch Colony co-owners Kenneth M. and Jamie B. Wagner were anxious about the plane’s departure, but they were pleased it landed safely without a scratch.

The dining room looks vacant without the plane hanging from above, Jamie Wagner said, adding that Tuesday was the first time she had seen it grounded in 40 years.

Museum volunteers loaded the plane onto an open trailer, and another trailer was used to haul the wing.

By next spring, the plane will fly again, Dougherty said, explaining that the aircraft is in excellent condition but will need work to be ready for flight.

Triangle Factory Outlets

This interestingly shaped building is located at 1010 N. 9th Street, right where 8th and 9th streets split on the north end of the city. At one point it apparently held outlet stores. This was likely due to the close two block-proximity to the Reading Outlet Center, which has long been abandoned, but is currently facing redevelopment. I have no information on when this outlet opened or closed, so if you know please leave the answer in the comments.

triangle factory outlets reading pa

Below is a shot of the building today, which you can see “The Pennsylvania Trust Co.” is inscribed above the front.  I was unable to find anything about the company, when it was built and what connection they have to this building.

triangle factory outlets reading pa

Berkshire Mall Clock – 1971

The Berkshire Mall was opened in 1970, and had an interesting clock “tower” located In front of what was then a Rite Aid in the south wing of the mall. It was removed at some point, however the same benches remain.  Below you can see a shot of it, along with some ladies browsing the ‘Wyomissing Women’s Club’ stand. Immediately behind the stand is Rite Aid, and going left would be stores: Chess King, Spencer Gifts, A Fabric Store (possibly the Fabric Dept?), Thom McAn, and let me know if you can make out the last one.

Below you can see the same area looking the other way from the Sears Fountain. In the background you can see Croll & Keck, Ladybug, and the same mystery store. Squint closely and you can make out the top of the same clock in the center background of the picture.

Doe Mountain Ski Area

Winter is coming…which means the snow sports season is almost upon us. There is only one ski resort in Berks County, and it is currently known as Bear Creek. The resort opened in 1967 and it was known as the Doe Mountain until 1999, when it became Bear Creek. The name was changed from Doe Mountain as a marketing strategy to avoid being characterized as a small ski area. Source Wikipedia

Doe Mountain 90s

Doe Mountain 90s
Doe Mountain 90s
Doe Mountain 90s

On this Day: October 20th, 1973

10/20/73 Reading Eagle
Above the fold in the Oct 20th, 1973 Reading Eagle
10/20/73 Reading Eagle
7th Street, cross streets bottom to top: Penn, Cherry, Franklin and Chestnut Streets

Reading’s 7th Street isn’t really a street, it’s railroad tracks. And these railroad tracks will cut through the purposed Penn Mall. Edward Sulzberger, the proposed mall developer, has said he would prefer the tracks not be there but can live with them. Meanwhile, other redevelopment officials feel the tracks may become an asset in the future if mass rail transit becomes a booming business.

10/20/73 Reading Eagle
Abe Lincoln Hotel Entertainment
10/20/73 Reading Eagle
Boy Scouts “Wonderful World of Scouting” show at Met-Ed