City officials, community leaders and residents gathered Friday morning to celebrate the reopening of the Penn Street Courtyard, located between Penn and Court Streets and near North 6th Street. The courtyard has undergone significant renovations over the past few months to address several issues, most importantly, improving ADA accessibility.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, representatives from the city’s diverse and delicious restaurants provided free samples for attendees to enjoy in the ‘Taste of Reading’ event. Erich Cawalla & Cliff Starkey provided live music.
“As we continue to improve our downtown, it is paramount to renovate this heavily used courtyard. Drainage and safety issues are among the corrections that aren’t necessarily visible, but we’re part of the over $500,000 investment here today. We strive to create a place for those who work nearby to enjoy a tranquil, beautiful outdoor space while having good music, laughter, food and company” said Reading Mayor Eddie Moran.
“This courtyard is also important to visitors as it provides an easy access to the courthouse and to the downtown with exceptional, convenient parking options. This space is now accessible to everyone as ramps and components have been updated for ADA compliance. Our vision is to see other events in this courtyard with food, music and unity. It is my hope and dream that see pop-up stages on a weekly basis where artists could come and show their talent.”
The courtyard renovations were funded, in part, by a grant from the State’s Department of Community and Economic Development and in collaboration with the Reading Redevelopment Authority.
“I think a lot of people are familiar with the old courtyard, but the fact that it’s been totally redone also shows that there’s a new beginning for this courtyard, for things that are planned in the future” said District 6 City Councilman Chris Miller. “I hope everybody makes a point to come here and see the improvements and to enjoy the things that are planned for the future.”