April 4, 1929: "Because April is counted the most dangerous month for forest fires, Arthur Good, Gibralter, has been stationed at the Summit hotel on Mt. Penn as fire observer. He will be on duty from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day." (Reading Times)
March 24, 1930: "Announcement has been made by the Norristown office of the Forests and Waters that fire observers have been placed on top of the tower Hotel on Mt. Penn and on the Cornwall Fire Tower which is several miles south of that village. The observers are stationed at these points to spot forest fires. They have at their command more than a hundred fire wardens in all sections of the surrounding counties who are subject to call upon the occurrence of a forest fire in their community." (Lebanon Semi-Weekly News)
October 23, 1932: "The Summit Hotel on Mt. Penn will be used as a natural forest fire observatory tower from Nov. 1, until the close of the hunting season. This was announced by Miss Miriam L. Stirl during her talk on nature and bird life, given under the auspices of the Department of Recreation in the City Hall auditorium." (Reading Eagle)
August 25, 1938: "The Mt. Penn tower. Councilman Howard McDonough said yesterday, will be striking in appearance and will compare favorably with scenic towers and observatories in other cities which cost much more than the proposed shaft here. It will be 125 feet high, much taller than the Mt. Penn Pagoda, which is about 75 feet. It will stand on a summit 270 feet higher than the Pagoda base, and probably will be surmounted by a signal light, or beacon. To be constructed ob rough native stone found on the mountain top, set in rough-troweled cement, the tower will be about 22 feet wide at its square base and 13 feet at the top. There will be two sightseers' balconies near the top and a third on the top, reached by a steel interior stairway." (Reading Times)
September 1, 1939: "Final inspection of the new observation tower on the summit of Mt. Penn was made yesterday by city officials. Tentative arrangements were made with the contractor, the Potteiger Company of West Reading, to permit opening of the tower on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, giving the public an opportunity to enter and inspect it over the triple holiday. At next Wednesday's council session the building will be accepted formally by the city. In yesterday's inspecting party were Harry E. Potteiger, general manager of the contracting company; C.C. Freeman, of Mt. Penn, the architect; Ferguson Bell, resident engineer inspector for the Public Works Administration; Mayor Stump, Councilman Howard McDonough, director of parks and public property, and Albert W. Gotch, city planning engineer. The solidity of the masonry and strength of the tower generally, as well as its artistic design and graceful appearance, were commented on by the inspecting city officials. The climbers counted the steps to the top chamber, from which four doors lead to the circular outside balcony for sightseers. The steps are easy risers and the climb is not difficult for the average person. A number of mountain strollers entered the building with the city hall party, getting the first opportunity afforded a private party to see the view from the top. McDonough, who will be custodian of the building, made a plea to the public to avoid vandalism and defacement of the doors, balustrades or stonework in any part of the building. Plumbers were at work yesterday placing modern fixtures in the men's and women's rooms in the first floor of the structure. All fixtures throughout the tower are equally modern and substantial. McDonough pointed out that as the tower is the property of all citizens of Reading, every adult should aid, when visiting the building, in preventing cutting of the woodwork or copper, chipping away the stone or concrete or writing names or other inscriptions on the walls, They especially restrain children from defacing the structure in any way, McDonough said. The tower base is 22 feet square, not counting a one-story offset at the base to house the restrooms. Near the top, at a point where corbels project to carry the balcony, the shaft tapers to 17 feet square. The balcony itself makes the top slightly greater in width than at the base. The walls, 20 inches thick, at the base, are slightly less than that at the top. The lights at the peak are set in a steel and glass case. Visitors to the top cannot get into the light chamber, which has a glass floor but is securely locked. The tower contains many lights to illuminate the stairways, and heavy grills are at all of the windows. At the top of the concrete balustrade, set in massive stone, is high enough to protect sightseers. Most of the stone is native Berks rock from a Pricetown quarry or near Birdsboro, all of it strikingly colored and permanently stained by nature and the action of the weather. Drains are copper and a heavy cable connects the ground with a lightning arrester on top of the light chamber. The tower itself rests on a one-foot mat of solid concrete, sunk four feet below the level of the rock that forms the floor of the mountain top. The tower will serve state and federal forest authorities as a lookout for wardens guarding against forest fires, and eventually an airplane beacon may be placed in the top. The city police will make use of the tower for its radio signal service to distant points, and possibly also for signal lights to officers in the city." (Reading Times)
February 20, 1968: "An alert fire spotter on duty in the observation tower on top of Mt. Penn was credited this afternoon with preventing a woman from committing suicide on the parking lot adjacent to the tower. The woman was observed running a hose from the exhaust of her car through a window and then she stuffed the windows with pillows and blankets. The fire spotter, also a woman, immediately called the desk sergeant at City Hall and he dispatched Patrolman Harry Heiser and the Reading ambulance about 2 o'clock. The fire spotter told reporter that the woman did not appear seriously ill and walked to the ambulance." (Reading Eagle)
August 2014: A new iron fence was installed surrounding the tower.