A Look Back – Albright College

A Look Back

This issue’s Look Back photo spurred memories for many Albright alumni who grew up in the city of Reading and recognized the southeast corner of 5th and Penn Streets in 1959. Special thanks to Chris Bitner ’86, Marilyn (Grill) Heffner ’59, Yvonne “Taffy” Hoffman ’57, Jim Kemp ’74, Daniel Palaferro ’74 and Tony Premici ’73, who shared their memories, and Chuck Runkle ’03 who also shared a number of downtown Reading photos spanning 1909-1960.

“Everyone went to Penn Street to shop,” remembered Heffner. “The ladies all wore head scarves and actually dressed up to shop. Grants 5 & 10 cent store was really 5 & 10 cents for most things. All buses came to this corner from the suburbs. Where you see the bus in the picture this is where I had to transfer to my bus to go to Albright. The fare was 7 cents. Not in the picture but just to the right on the sidewalk was a vendor who sold soft pretzels for 2 cents, another one roasting and selling chestnuts. My husband and I are so blessed to have grown up in this era.”

The Penn Square traffic circle, which readers noted was the longtime home to the city’s Christmas tree, was originally a trolley turntable. The circle was removed in 1973.