Earl Building – 523/525 Penn St

Earl Building in Reading, Pa., 1890, 2002251_2_076, Box 1, Folder 2, Warren-Ehret Company photograph albums (Accession 2002.251), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

The M. J. Earl Building pictured around the turn of the 20th century at 523/525 Penn Street in Reading. It appears there were a few offices inside. One was home to an office of Prudential Insurance, ran by J.S. DeHart. It appears there was also a Cigar manufacturer and a Fur Hat store. The rest was a part of the M.J. Earl company. According to their website, the M.J. Earl INC,

“Founded in 1842, MJ Earl Inc. was in the paper business when toilets were outhouses and printers were presses.
First situated in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, MJ Earl has since relocated to the Greater Reading region, and serves a multitude of businesses from Harrisburg to the Delaware Valley.” –

Apparently they are still a local company, now residing on Pottsville Pike.

The words on the facia of the building boasted;


The Earl building in 2019

Is it me or can you still see the faint outline of the word “EARL” on the facia?

Paul’s Men’s Shop – 527 Penn St

the 1950s

Paul’s was a men’s clothing store along the 500 block of Penn street in the 50s and 60s. Couldn’t find a date on when it closed.


Today the building is occupied by a pizza place.

On this Day – Reading Pattern Works Fire 1964

Fire on October 27th, 1964 – Picture from Reading Eagle

The Reading Pattern Works was a factory that made parts for the railroad, and was located at 715 Clinton Street. On October 27th, 1964 it suffered a fire.

Fire on October 27th, 1964 – Picture from Reading Eagle


Today, the Pattern Works building is home to Reading Art Works, and is used as an event space.

Carsonia Park Aerial – Then and Now – 1937



Carsonia Park opened in 1896 and operated until 1950. It’s extensive history can be read here. It appears that the only thing that remains is the pool and lake. The main midway was built over by housing many years ago.

seasonal grand opening in 1931

Metropolitan Edison Company – Eyler station


Eyler station was coal fired then converted to oil. But the oil crisis in the 70’s made it too expensive to run so it was subsequently torn down in the late 70’s.


Downtown Met Ed headquarters in the 1950s

Metropolitan Edison Building is a historic office building located at Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1926-1927, and is a 12-story, “L”-shaped, steel frame building faced with Indiana limestone, brick, and terra cotta reflective of the Chicago style. It stands 150 feet tall. A five-story addition was completed in 1956. The building measures 119 feet, 8 inches, by 169 feet, 6 inches. It was the original home of the Metropolitan Edison Company, Gilbert-Commonwealth, and the CNA Insurance Company. – Wikipedia