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.
Built in 1874 by the same firm that designed the Brooklyn Bridge, Reading’s rail bridge was heavily used by pedestrians to get over the train yard to Reading’s Outer Station. According to this Reading Eagle article,
The Outer Station, which stood off North Sixth Street, handled passenger and freight service on Reading Company lines.
and yes, the bridge did swing…
“You and your friends could actually make it swing if you had the right rhythm,” he explained. “It would swing enough to make mom nervous.”
The Outer Station closed in 1969 and fell victim to arson nearly 10 years later. Still, the swinging bridge survived until 1983 when Conrail, the successor to the Reading Company, tore it down.
It turns out that when word got around that Conrail was going to tear down the bridge, a group of local engineers approached the company about taking the span, said Joel Caves, an engineer with Spotts, Stevens & McCoy in Wyomissing.
Not all of the bridge could be salvaged, but the group moved both towers to the Berks County Heritage Center in Bern Township.
The metal stood there until the early 1990s, when members of the United Labor Council were looking for a project to honor union workers, Caves said.
The Worker’s Memorial was completed in 1991, and the one tower has stood at Heritage Park ever since.
As we gear up for Eclipse day, lets take a look back to the last Solar eclipse that was viewable from Berks County. It occurred on Monday, February 26th, 1979. Moon coverage began at 10:57 am, with peak coverage being around 12:13pm. Where were you during the solar eclipse of 1979?
Before and after the eclipse, UFO’s are sighted by drivers along 422.
If you’re going to view the Solar Eclipse today, make sure to have the correct viewing glasses to prevent eye injury. Enjoy!