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City Businesses


Historical Preservation

The general purposes of the Historic Preservation office is (1) for protecting historical areas, buildings and structures which have distinctive character recalling the rich architectural and historical heritage of the City of Reading and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, (2) of making those historical areas, buildings and structures a source of inspiration to our citizens by awakening interest in our historic past, and (3) to promote the general welfare, education and culture of the City.

The specific purposes of the Historic Preservation office is as follows:

  • To protect those areas, buildings and structures of the City which reflect the cultural, economical, social, political and architectural history of the City, commonwealth and nation.
  • To awaken, in our citizens, an interest in our historic past.
  • To foster civic pride in the architectural, historical, cultural and educational accomplishments of Reading.
  • To promote the use and reuse of the historic areas, buildings and structures of the City for the culture, education, pleasure and the general welfare of the people of the City, commonwealth, and nation.
  • To strengthen the economy of the City by improving property values within the historic districts and City at large and by enhancing the City's attractiveness to visitors.
  • To encourage new buildings and developments that shall be harmonious with existing historic and architecturally important areas, buildings and structures.
  • To enable the City to participate actively in the National Register of Historic Places program and procedures and the National Certified Local Government Program to qualify for grant assistance and to conform to state and federal standards and guidelines established by statute and regulation.

The Historic Preservation Specialist administers the Historic District Ordinance and assists citizens through the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) process. The Preservation Officer is responsible for enforcing the Historic District Ordinance, providing technical and administrative assistance to the HARB, issuing Certificates of Appropriateness, and administers the City's Façade Improvement Program. A variety of City departments rely on the Preservation Officer for technical assistance when undertaking projects involving Reading's historical structures, that could include review by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Contact: Amy Johnson - Historic Preservation Specialist
Phone: 610-655-6414