Reading has long been known for its world famous Pagoda, which offers a spectacular view of the City and its surrounding communities from Skyline Drive. William Abbot Witman, Sr., a local businessman commissioned Charles C. Matz in 1906, to build the Pagoda after seeing a picture of Nagoya Castle in Japan. The construction of the seven story building lasted one year and was initially built to cover a stone pit which had defaced the western slope of the mountain as a result of the Witman quarry. The Pagoda was intended to be a luxury resort but never opened. In 1910, a Reading merchant, Jonathan Mould, purchased the building and one year later presented it, along with ten acres of land, to the City of Reading for one dollar.
Situated 886 feet above the City of Reading, the Pagoda is one of only three in the United States. The Pagoda, Reading's most prominent landmark, has become a symbol of the City and is commemorated as a uniform shoulder patch worn by the men and women of the Reading Police Department.