Story from Mount Penn Preserve newsletter
“Save the Pagoda!”
That was the message emblazoned on signs carried by citizens to City Hall after fire ravaged the Pagoda late in 1969, and some city leaders subsequently proposed its demolition.
The people spoke, and the leaders responded. The city decided to keep, and renovate, its iconic landmark. In September 1970, the citizen volunteers organized as Pagoda-Skyline Inc. (PSI) to continue the restoration and preservation efforts.
Now, almost a half-century later, the volunteers of PSI continue their preservation efforts in several ways. While the Foundation for the Reading Pagoda has a Memorandum of Understanding to operate the Pagoda, PSI has an MoU to work on the other mountain landmark, the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower. However, PSI continues to operate an all-volunteer gift shop on the Pagoda’s first floor and its proceeds benefit both organizations.
PSI has also partnered with Blue Mountain Region Sports Car Club of America (The Hillclimb group) to upgrade parts of Skyline and Duryea drives. The organization also supports the Mount Penn Preserve Partnership. We welcome continued opportunities to serve with other “mountain-minded” people to preserve and promote the amazing natural resources here in our own backyard.
For more information, go to www.pagodaskyline.org, or join us for our meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Pagoda from March through November, and other locations through winter season. See “what’s up” on the mountain!
Mike Reinert is president of Pagoda Skyline Inc.