Pictured above is 6th & Penn Streets in 1949. On the immediate right is Pomeroy’s Department Store. A block north in the background is the Berks County Court House. All of the buildings between the photographer and the Court house were razed in the 1970s as a part of downtown Reading’s revitalization efforts. Can you identify any of the businesses along the east side of North 6th Street?
Bus 708 in the foreground is making its way up 6th street. Groups of people are walking around the center of this bustling town. This was a typical scene around Reading, Pennsylvania in the mid-20th century. It was a novelty for those who lived outside of the city to come into town to shop, eat in a restaurant or work. For those who lived in the city, transportation was public and accessible with busses, trains and trollies taking you anywhere you needed to be. 6th & Penn Street Reading was the east end of Penn Square, which was considered the heart of the city.
My Dad worked in the courthouse in the Recorder of Deed’s office on the first floor, and I worked at Pomeroy’s for a while before I went into the military in 1966. In the 1950’s/ early 1960s, Reading was a bustling city. S.S. Kresge’s was on the corner across from Pomeroy’s, and you could get a frosted mug of draft root beer there – two sizes, 5 cents and 10 cents. Noting like it on a hot day!
My late parents met when they both worked at Pomeroy’s. Dad often ate lunch at Kresge’s because it was cheaper than Pomeroy’s with the employee discount!