Trip Planner:   USA  /  Pennsylvania  /  Reading  /  Sightseeing  /  The Pagoda

The Pagoda, Reading

(300+ reviews on the web)
Architectural Building Tourist Spot
The Pagoda is a novelty building, built atop the south end of Mount Penn overlooking Reading, Pennsylvania, United States. It has been a symbol of the city for more than a century.HistoryCompleted in 1908 at a cost of $50,000, this pagoda was intended to be the hotel/restaurant centerpiece of a luxury resort. When plans for the rest of the resort were abandoned, the 7-story wooden building on of land was donated to Reading in 1911. It is now part of the Mount Penn Reserve, of municipally-owned land.The Pagoda is wide, long, and tall. Perched on the edge of a cliff, above the city and above sea level, it offers a 30mi panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside.Within the top story hangs a tocsin, a massive bell cast in Obata, Mie Prefecture, Japan, in 1739, and formerly installed in a Buddhist temple in either Ogose or Hannō, Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Listed on the bell's sides in Old Japanese (kanji) characters are the names of its 48 donors and a prophecy about the end of time. The temple was closed in 1881, and later destroyed.Anti-Japanese sentiment was rampant during World War II, and there were calls to demolish the building. But it was restored in 1949, with the lower story and balconies rebuilt in stone. In 1960, neon lights were installed outlining its roofs. In the 1970s, the Japanese garden was restored, and Japanese cherry trees were planted around the building. LED lights were installed in 2008-09. A webcam on its third floor periodically records and publishes the weather atop Mount Penn.
Plan to visit The Pagoda and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Reading attractions using our Reading itinerary builder.
Source
Create a full Reading itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Reading

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Reading by other users

21 days in Reading & Anchorage BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Reading & Elverson BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Reading BY A USER FROM VIETNAM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Little Rock & Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Reading, Hershey & Harrisburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Alameda & Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Came to the Pagoda during a recent trip to Reading for a wedding. We used to visit the Pagoda as kids, so wanted to reminisce. Looks the same as it always has and is still in great shape. The only thi...  more »
  • Look up the history, very interesting and unique. I grew up in the City of Reading and have enjoyed taking visitors to the Pagoda for the view, especially at night. On a recent drive, my girlfriend an...  more »
  • Took my daughter here before prom and took photos with her date and our family. They let us take pictures outside in the balcony and they were amazing pictures. We contributed a few dollars. We visit ...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place! Beautiful piece of history! Too many people playing their music too loud. It's unbelievable they get away with it. They just throw trash on the ground and break bottles all over, glass everywhere. If it wasn't for that, it's perfect! Beautiful view. Went up there years ago when they were setting up for "THE LAST AIRBENDER". Got on the set quite by accident. It was fun.
  • The place is cool, located on a hill with a nice view. However building was closed and restrooms were closed too? We were driving there, and needed restroom after long drive, why you need to close it. Also around the pagoda were garbage, including plastic bottles, cans
  • Nothing beats the view from up there. However, I would like to see the actual Pagoda open at other times then weekends. Makes it difficult to go inside when you work weekends. Otherwise, great place to relax and see a lovely view.
  • Amazing views. Pay the dollar and climb the place. Just a really neat.old building. A bunch of history exhibits on one floor. They also sell a number of history books about the area.
  • Cool view, weird building to have there in my opinion. Nice over look of the city very busy when I went but still free parking. The pagoda was closed due to an event. Not much to do up there though.