Properties - Reading Redevelopment Authority

Neighborhood Profiles

Callowhill Historic District

The Callowhill Historic District is located along Fifth Street, from Laurel Street north to Buttonwood Street, and encompasses the 400 and 500 blocks of Penn Square. The district was named for Callowhill Street, now Fifth Street, which Thomas and Richard Penn named to honor their mother, Hannah Callowhill Penn.

The Callowhill District contains the oldest section and is the heart of the City. Continually evolving and changing, the district offers a collection of architecture dating from 1760 to the present. Almost every major American building style is represented here within 253 acres.

Centre Park Historic District

The Centre Park District is roughly located in the triangular area formed by the intersection of Centre Avenue and North Fifth Street, bounded at the north by the Charles Evans Cemetery. The name of the district is borrowed from Centre Park, and the overall character is one of elegant and well-maintained homes featured in a landscaped setting.

Almost entirely residential, the Centre Park District contains 840 buildings. It features a wide variety of architectural styles and high levels of quality craftsmanship, evident in even the most modest homes. Most of the development occurred here between 1895 and 1915 when trolley service made the neighborhood one of Reading's first suburbs.

Penn's Commons Historic District (City Park area)

The Penn's Common Historic District is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Penn and centered around City Park. The park itself was originally deeded to the citizens of Reading by the Penn Family and was known as Penn's Common. The 116 acre district encompasses City Park and the neighborhood surrounding it.

The district features row homes, single homes, and commercial buildings. A range of architectural styles include federal style row homes, Victorian Period single homes, unique Chateauesque and Romanesque rows, elegant Georgian homes, and slightly more modern Arts and Crafts style properties.

Prince Historic District

The Prince Historic District is located south of Penn Street, roughly bordered by Cherry Street to the north, Willow Street to the south, Pearl Street to the west, and South Seventh Street to the east. The district is named for Prince Street, now Sixth Street, which is at the heart of the area.

One of the most interesting characteristics of the Prince District is its identity as an urban community. Unlike other areas of the city, this area was a complete community of its own. It represents a place where residents lived, worked, worshiped, shopped, and socialized all within a single neighborhood.