Don’t Give Up On Reading, Albert Boscov Tells Crowd

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a different Reading back in the day when Albert R. Boscov, then just a child, would go to work at his father’s store on North Ninth Street.

“When I was growing up, Penn Street was the most vital area you could go to.  It had five movie theaters,” the Boscov’s Department Stores chairman recalled of the city in the first half of the twentieth century.  “When I look at Reading today, it’s not what I would like to see.”

“It’s not the Reading I know,” Boscov told a crowd of about 100 at Alvernia University on Friday night.  “And it’s not the Reading it has to be.”

Boscov came to Francis Hall on Friday for the kick-off of Leadership Berks’ “Leaders, Legends, and Visionaries” series.  The discussion was moderated by David Myers, director of Alvernia’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=510966

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Program Profiles Reading Redevelopment Efforts

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Efforts to revitalize Reading’s economy were highlighted Thursday in a live national round-table online discussion that included panelists from California and Georgia.

Albert Boscov is very good at shaking money trees, and I collect the bills,” said Adam Mukerji, executive director of the Reading Redevelopment Authority, who sat in for the retailer Boscov, a key figure with Our City Reading, a group committed to helping first-time buyers purchase refurbished city homes.

Mukerji described the retailer “as one of the most charitable persons I have ever worked with.”

Conversation Starters, a national nonprofit based in College Station, Texas, hosted the third in a series focusing on nationwide ideas for community building and economic development.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=484645

Art Lives At GoggleWorks; Artists To Live At GoggleWorks II

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entertainment Square at Second and Washington streets is about to get another boost, this one aimed at combination apartment/studios for professional artists.

Retailer Albert R. Boscov this week said his nonprofit Our City Reading is ready to start on a $4.5 million renovation of a still-unused portion of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on the square’s northeast corner.

That five-story building, also called GoggleWorks II, is connected to the main building by overhead walkways.

It will get 20 to 25 so-called live-work spaces, ranging in size from 1,200 to 2,800 square feet, with roughly a third of each to be living space in the interiors, and two-thirds to be studio space next to the big windows of what had been a safety equipment factory.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=433907

GoggleWorks Apartment Project Uses An Unusual Steel Framing Process

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Image via Wikipedia

The wraps on the new GoggleWorks apartments on Washington Street in Reading will be long gone by early summer. In the meantime, the $16.7 million building remains swathed in plastic to keep workers warm.

The plastic also has been covering up an unusual construction process based on a metal framing system. Instead of a typical structural steel framework filled in with masonry blocks and wooden planks, it has prefabricated metal framing and walls that stack in place made by ClarkDietrich Building Systems, an Ohio-based provider of steel construction products and services.

Eric Burkey, president of Reading-based Burkey Construction Co., the project’s general contractor, said the walls are set in place and the cold-formed steel joists and metal deck are set before the walls are placed on the floor above. The wall panels literally sit one on top of the other and carry through the overall height of the building.

“This kind of system has been around for a while,” Burkey said. “It just hasn’t been used a lot.”

Read more: http://businessweekly.readingeagle.com/?p=2331