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

The Pagoda, Reading

4.1
#2 of 12 in Things to do in Reading
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 an itinerary including The Pagoda
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
327 reviews
Google
4.5
  • My friend and I came up here during the evening. Even though the Pagoda itself was closed you still can walk around. The view is amazing!  more »
  • A lovely view of Reading from the top of Mt Penn! A MUST DO if in the are. Neat building. Neat history and visit the fire tower while you are up there too!  more »
  • Visiting the Pagoda was a very interesting experience. Perhaps it was just the day I was there, but it seemed a but run down and dirty. Lots of trash on the ground.  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.

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.

Where to stay in Reading

Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Plans in Reading by other users

11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, popular PREFERENCES: March, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: April, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 37 days in New Jersey & Reading BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Philadelphia & Reading BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in San Diego & Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Reading BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 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
View more plans