Fifth and Penn Reading

Below are various images of the southeast corner of Fifth and Penn Streets in downtown Reading.

Fifth and Penn Reading - 1940s
Photo Courtesy of the Passing Scene

The southeast corner of Fifth and Penn, previously the site of Reading’s well-known Mansion House, as it appeared in the 1940s.

Fifth and Penn Reading - 1977
image courtesy of

On April 3rd, 1977 the building housed a McDonalds when a fire broke out around 10:30pm. Famous Maid was another popular store in this building at the time.

Fifth and Penn Reading - 2016

Today, the fifth and penn building holds a Pretzel Factory store, a clothing shop, a marking firm and a pharmaceutical store.


Born and raised in Berks, I am fascinated by the design, architecture, culture & style of the 20th century. I started this website to research and build a collection of the places, things and stories I have heard about my entire life. Read more here.

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Franklin Starkey
Franklin Starkey
1 year ago

In the 50’s and 60’s was a W T Grant 5 and 10 store. That meant any thing for either 5 or 10 cents. Had a lunch counter along the 5th street side. Great cheeseburgers and from scratch milkshakes! Also air conditioned. Big deal then.

Berks Nostalgia