Berks

New Reading Railroad mural has many reminiscing

New railroad mural has many reminiscing; video report by WFMZ's Amanda VanAllen

READING, Pa. - Art is helping to brighten up parts of downtown Reading. Business owners said they hope the improvements attract more people to center city.

One of the new pieces is a mural of a train, and many of the locals said they are happy to see part of the city's history brought back to life.

"My dad worked for the Reading Railroad, so I love seeing itm and I can't wait to show my son," said Jennifer Tinsem, who walked past the mural in the 300 block of Penn Street on Monday.

"They really are doing something to improve the city, especially the center city," said resident Wilfred Rodriguez. "People will see that and they will start coming."

The Main Street Public Arts Initiative and the National Endowment for the Arts sponsored the mural.

Artist Edward Williams from the Baltimore area worked tirelessly on the piece with a blue background and personal accents, like a mini-version of the Pagoda in the top right corner.

Store owner Luis Navarro said he hopes the mural brings him more customers.

"I think that with me being a business on the same block as the mural, I think it's a benefit to my business, I think it brings light to Reading," he said. "I think it brings the city back to what it really was, and what it was before."

And just a few blocks away, near Seventh and Penn streets, three beautiful art columns have been installed as a part of the same initiative.

"I love it," said Reading Mayor Wally Scott.

Scott said he is a huge fan of both installations and hopes they will be stepping stones for more growth

"You can't come all the way up and then stop and then everything else doesn't look as good as it should," said the mayor. "If we are going to do the corridor, then the corridor goes all the way up until 11th Street, and we have to start moving money up that way and start developing."


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