New lights put to test atop Berks County Courthouse in Reading

'This is a work in progress for all,' says Lehigh County-based company

New lights put to test atop Berks County Courthouse

READING, Pa. - If you had an eye to the sky over downtown Reading on Tuesday evening, you might have caught a glimpse of what the city's skyline may one day look like at night.

Entertainment Services Group (ESG), a Lehigh County-based company, conducted a preliminary test of colored LED lights atop the Berks County Courthouse.

ESG is one of two contractors working to submit a proposal for a new, energy-efficient system that would once again illuminate the top of Reading's tallest building.

The old lighting system was removed last year to make way for a renovation of the courthouse, which opened in 1932 and was illuminated for approximately 80 years. For many years, the lights were used to forecast the next day's weather.

The Berks County Commissioners decided against relighting the building after one company submitted a proposed cost of $122,000 for a colored LED lighting system and $72,000 for clear lights.

ESG said it has more work to do before it can conduct a more formal demonstration of lights and submit its own cost proposal to the county.

"This is a work in progress for all, but the good news is that ESG knows we can make the building shine!" the company wrote on its Facebook page.

Founded in 1989, ESG has illuminated the PPL headquarters, which is Allentown's tallest building.

A citizens group, "Turn the Courthouse Lights Back On," founded by Russ Cambria, is raising money through the Berks History Center to help offset the cost of a new lighting system for the courthouse.

Money for the project can be donated online (indicating "courthouse lights" in the message section) or mailed to The Berks County History Center, c/o Russ Cambria, 924 Hamilton Place, Wyomissing PA 19610. Make checks payable to Berks History Center/Courthouse Lights.

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