The Sheraton Motor Inn was built in 1973, located at Woodland Ave and then Van Reed Road (now Paper Mill Road).
In the year 2000, the Sheraton Inn received higher status and was able to refer to itself as a hotel instead of “Inn”.
In 2002 in underwent $7.5 million dollars in renovations. There was also an incident where the pool chemical system malfunctioned, sending 13 people to the hospital.
In 2009, the Sheraton Reading Hotel again underwent a 10 million dollar renovationas it rebranded itself as the Crowne Plaza.
Those renovations included a new facade; an upgrade of all computer systems, which is complete; room renovations, which will include new bedding, carpeting, wall coverings, televisions, art, and bathroom tiling; guest hallways, which also will feature new artwork, carpeting and wall coverings; renovation of the fifth-floor executive lounge and the ballroom; a new fitness center; and a complete facelift of the pool area. – Reading Eagle
Happy New Year Berks County! Not only is it a new year but also the beginning of a new decade. As we leave behind the 2010s, let’s look back on the beginning of the last 10 decades, and some of the events that we experienced together as a community during them. The past is important and sometimes comforting, but it is also important to look forward. There is so much more nostalgia yet to be made!
Above the fold in the Oct 16th 1959 Reading Eagle:
Goodbye, Tower Hotel
Outside razing work by city workmen is now under way on the Tower Hotel on the crest of Mt. Penn. All usable wood and stone from the historic structure will be stored for future city use. A pavilion is scheduled to be built on the site, when razing work is completed. This coming winter, city carpenters will build picnic tables at the site. (Eagle Photo – Oct 16th, 1959 Reading Eagle)
Well, that’s a problem
Charles Danta examines the well opening into which he descended 30 feet yesterday afternoon to rescue Michael Evans, 5, Boyertown R.D. 3, after the boy had fallen through rotten planking into five feet of water. Michael, shown in inset, was unhurt. The well planking will be replaced. (Eagle staff photo)
The Penn View Motel was part of a chain of nine motels called Host Ways Motel. It was built in 1965, and along with the other 8 locations boasted the mid-century modern pyramid. It was located on the block between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Penn Avenue in West Reading. The striking blue pyramid would become a landmark of sorts, and could be easily seen by passing cars on the 422 bypass just down the road.
The chain is no longer in existence, and the only trace left of this chain is found in New Jersey at the Ivory Tower Motor Inn.
Over the years the Penn View became more and more infamous, being widely known for rampant prostitution, crime and drug problems. Quite a few deaths occurred within the walls of it’s motel rooms, mainly from overdoses. In 1990, there was a murder outside the motel over cocaine.
In 1995, Dateline NBC came to the Penn View to follow Berks Sheriff’s Deputies as they delivered warrants in an effort to see how fugitives are brought to justice.
The Penn View was deemed a blight finally taken by eminent domain in 2006, and razed shortly after. It had a few long-term tenants that were relocated.
“The motel’s last tenant checked in about 2 a.m. Monday, Alan said. When the man left later that morning, Alan refunded the $55 motel bill and gave him a bottle of champagne.” – 8/22/06 Reading Eagle
Plans for a new hotel were met with some adversity due to community member’s fears it would devolve into the same nefarious activities as the Penn View. A Candlewood Suites was eventually built on the grounds of the old Penn View, and as far as I know has not been an issue for the surrounding community.
Mrs. James F. Bell II and Mrs. Charles M. Guthrie Jr. with her son, Charles M. III leaving the North Fifth Street entrance of the Berkshire Hotel, Reading after lunching in the Mural Room. The Murals in this lovely dining area depict the history of Berks County dating back to the times of George Washington.
It opened as the Hotel Berkshire on New Years 1915. It boasted 185 guest rooms, and a large lobby. I can’t find exact info on when it closed as a hotel, but it was transitioned into office space by the mid-80s at the latest. Currently, much of the space is vacant and for lease as business office space. There is also a community center in the building.