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The Pagoda, Reading

4.1
#2 of 12 in Things to do in Reading
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.
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The Pagoda Reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Great place to see the city of Reading skyline. Unique building free parking beautiful view. Beautiful windy road  more »
  • We take our granddaughter to the pagoda at least twice a year she loves it up there as we do. We've been there on the nicest of days and we been there in the fog in the rain and we all still have a go...  more »
  • Who would think a Pagoda would sit on top of a mountain in Reading, PA It's a treasure that needs to be explored.  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 Pagoda is perched atop Mount Penn with stunning views overlooking Reading and many places beyond. The best time to go for views is sunset/nighttime, but do be aware that it's not the safest place to be. Plan accordingly and be alert.
  • The building is really neat and the views are great ... but that's where anything nice about this place ends. There are a lot of questionable things being done at all times of the day by the questionable people this place seems to attract. Trash cans are usually over flowing. The parking lot and walking areas are littered with trash, cigarette butts, used condoms, and drug paraphernalia. This is NOT a family friendly place to go.
  • 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.

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