Wyomissing Hills history is brought to life in this community sales brochure from 1915. Berks County real estate history is rich in style and architecture.
Berks County has a rich tradition of creating quality housing for its residents. On July 2nd, 1906 Wyomissing, Pennsylvania was established as a Borough of Berks County. Not long after Wyomissing Hills was established. In January of 2002, the Borough of Wyomissing and the Borough of Wyomissing Hills merged to become one Borough. Presently, there are around 10,500 people living in the community.
I am always in search of Berks County and Reading, PA real estate memorabilia. I was fortunate enough to locate and purchase the original 1915 marketing brochure for Wyomissing Hills. It is in fantastic condition which allowed me to scan the original illustrations and photos featured in the brochure and present them here.
It is unique to see how the real estate practitioners of the past demonstrated their product. The brochure is well prepared, however, the wording of the introduction is not something I would consider using today. It was likely penned by an attorney associated with the owner and developer, WYOMISSING HILLS, Incorporated.
If you are a fan of Berks County history, I think you will enjoy this digital recreation of the brochure!
Thank you for looking and any comments on this subject are appreciated!
Knowledge is Power!
Jeffrey C. Hogue
A BOOKLET DESCRIPTIVE OF
A Residence Suburb
OF READING, PENNSYLVANIA
ILLUSTRATING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE SUBURB WILL BE DEVELOPED, AND THE POSSIBILITIES FOR ATTRAC-TIVE SUBURBAN HOMES IN VARIOUS LOCALITIES, ALSO SHOWING A NUMBER OF HOMES ALREADY ERECTED
WYOMISSING HILLS, Incorporated
Owner and Developer
DAVID H. KEISER ~ WALTER A. BOAS ~ GEO H. FELIX
President ~ Treasurer ~ Secretary and Business Manager
HE management of Wyomissing Hills, Incorporated present this booklet, describing and illustrating the situation, the plan and the proposed development of the new residence suburb which has been named Wyomissing Hills.
In doing so the Company wishes it understood, at the outset, that in all that is said herein the uppermost desire is to appeal only to the sober, intelligent judgement of people who recognize the desirability of suburban homes, who have the means to acquire them, the intelligence to appreciate the advantages and the merits of a superior location, and the caution and prudence to examine and carefully weigh every element and circumstance entering into the proposition.
The Character of the Enterprise
Wyomissing Hills is not a swift turn, quick money, lot selling scheme, but a well matured, carefully considered plan of development that will hold in the long run, that will grow in favor and establish itself as an enterprise marking an epoch in the history of home-making in and around Reading. It is the purpose of the management, therefore, to limit speculative purchases, and sell mainly to early builders of homes and to those who are seeking sites for such hoes in the near future. This policy is not only in accordance with enlightened, sound business policy, as far as the owners’ interest are concerned, but is in the best interests of the home building purchasers.
Wyomissing Hills a Suburb De Luxe
By way of further explanation of the motives and purposes of the management it may be said that is has concluded that the time had arrived when the growth of Reading, in wealth and population, warranted the creation of a suburb deluxe, upon a more ambitious and higher class plan than any that had hitherto been attempted. In putting this idea into practice every resource of modern experience, knowledge and skill in such matters was employed in the endeavor to make Wyomissing Hills the last word in suburban development, a credit to its projectors and a model in every respect.
Wyomissing Hills, in the principles of its foundation, in its plan and in its development, is a permanency: as much so as any of the established communities surrounding it.
Upon the basis of the above statements the management invites the most thorough and careful examination of this project, with special reference to
|It’s situation||Its desirable restrictions|
|Its natural advantages||Its improvements|
|Its plan of development||Its preparedness for home-making|
|It’s accessibility||Its liberal, reasonable prices.|
The Situation and Surroundings
Wyomissing Hills is located on the ridge to the north of the Reading and Womelsdorf Electric Railway, on the Harrisburg Pike just West of Wyomissing Borough, and consists of about 200 acres of carefully restricted land, all of which is elevated above the surrounding territory, a large part being high ground rising some 470 feet above sea level, subdivided into plots varying in frontage from 50 to 200 feet and in depth from 35 to 225 feet, with a number of larger areas of several acres each.
Every part of the tract offers an outlook and a variety of pleasing and inspiring scenery, unsurpassed around Reading, and possessing elements of interest and attractiveness not exceeded anywhere. The details of the views would alone more than fill this booklet, but we may mention Reading, its environs and mountain boundary; the sweep of the Schuylkill and Lebanon Valleys, for scores of miles, with the lesser valleys of the Wyomissing and Tulpehocken nearby—the whole great panorama, bounded by the noble ranges of the Blue and South Mountains. The outlook in every direction is over a vast rolling park, dotted with farms, cities and villages—a rich, fertile land of peace and plenty that presents a new aspect with every shift of the sun and every change of the weather and seasons.
Individual Charms of the Various Sections
The tract has been divided, with regard to its physical features, into a number of sections, among which are The Park section, the Hill-side section, the Hill-top section, the West End section and the wooded section. These have been selected for early development and active operations are now going on.
The various sections, named above, each have their peculiar individuality, charm and adaptability.
The Wooded section affords inviting locations for bungalow summer homes, as well as for permanent residences, with abundant shade already provided.
The Hill-top and Hill-side sections provide excellent sites for picturesque effects in architectural and landscape design.
The West End section, 470 feet above sea level, reached by the Wyomissing Hills Boulevard on easy grade, lends itself to the arrangement of large areas for home sites, far enough away from the centre of the suburb, to be developed into an exceptionally quiet and refined residence centre It will be a place of roominess, of charming, close-by as well as distant vistas, the elevation of which, together with the ample open spaces, will assure comfortable days and cool nights, in summer, and abundant sunshine in winter.
To this section we call the special attention of people of means who wish to live in rural territory that is readily accessible by trolley and motor car. This will give them the seclusion they desire, without the care of an estate of large acreage far removed from city conveniences and transportation facilities. Two or three acres will afford attractive home sites, with ample room for trees, gardens, and lawns, and permit a large scope for individual taste in liberal landscape treatment, all at a minimum of cost.
The Park section, lying near the main thoroughfare, Penn Avenue, and the trolley line, from which leads the main entrance to Wyomissing Hills, has as one of its attractions a beautiful floral park of about two and one-half acres in extent. It has many attractive and charming locations fronting on the Park and on the Park road and others that will make this area a favorite and commend it to the taste of many home seekers.
The Highways and Their Names
In laying out the highways the best civil and landscape engineering skill has been employed, to not only bring about the greatest utility, but the make them features of adornment. In the naming of them the rural idea has been borne in mind. They are mostly designated as “roads” and the conventional and commonplace has been avoided by such names as Hawthorne Road, Ferncliff Road, Park Road, Merry Mount Road, Upland Road, Woodland Road, Overhill Road, Northhill Road, Rural Drive, etc. The road system also includes two main boulevards, namely, Wyomissing Boulevard, leading through the Hill-side Section and over the Hill-top Section, and Grandview Boulevard which traverses the crest of the Hill-top Section and is seventy feet in width and over a mile in length.
The Improvements and Betterments
The improvements, passing with the property, are graded and improved streets, roads and boulevards, curbed and guttered; concrete sidewalks, shade trees, parks and park improvements; parking strips, seeded and planted; lighting standards and electric lamps in the highways, with wires underground, a pure and abundant water supply, police protection, fire hydrants, and provision for garbage and ash removal. In all cases, where homes are to be erected, the street improvements will be completed before the homes are ready for occupancy, except in the West End section, where special arrangements will be made with early purchasers.
In connection with the improvements it may be said that special attention will be given to the shrubbery and planting in the parks and parking strips of the roads and in all seasons of the year there will be blooming plants and green shrubbery.
Most important, in a project of this kind, are well thought out restrictions, which are a perpetual protection to purchasers and which permanently assure them of continuance of the original advantages of the location. These are set out fully and in detail in all the deeds to the plots. In the case of Wyomissing Hills, the restrictions may be summarized as follows:
To allow the use of land only for residential purposes.
To allow only detached houses.
To allow but a single house on each plot.
Fixing set-back lines for buildings at not less than 25, 30 and 40 feet from street lines, depending upon location.
Fixing free or open spaces, on each side of the houses built, at not less than 40 per cent of the lot frontage, and regulating the use of such free spaces.
Requiring pole and wire lines, for lighting and telephone service, to be placed at rear end of plots.
Requiring submission and approval of plans and specifications of all buildings to be erected, as well as the grading and landscape plans for the plots.
Our Illustrations of Wyomissing Hills
The illustrations in this booklet are drawn and colored from the real condition and aspect of the land and roads and set forth, in perspective, houses and graded lawns drawn to a scale and made to illustrate what can be done by tasteful landscape design and competent architecture, adapted to the situation and surroundings, and accompanied by careful restrictions.
The views of road intersections, Park, Parkways, etc., are true representations of natural conditions and the tract will be improved as shown. The color plate or bird’s eye view is a work of art and illustrates the plan of the property, as a whole, and furnishes an intelligent idea of its pleasing and striking appearance a few years hence.
Some years will be required, of course, for the materialization of all the ideals for the development of the entire property, but all the plans are so contrived as to work together harmoniously for a realization of these ideals and to bring about in the construction of homes and in the adornment of their surroundings, a result which will present a picture whose beauty and charm, these illustrations can but faintly show forth.
|When you buy land in Wyomissing Hills you buy rare privileges, you buy unusual improvements, you buy security as to the privacy and continued refinement of your environment and you buy pure air and salubrity.
There will be no business in Wyomissing Hills. It is a place to forget business and to lay aside care.
The Selling Prices in Wyomissing Hills
The selling prices of land, lots and plots in Wyomissing Hills are low, in themselves, without considering that the land carries with it public improvements unequaled in any suburb about Reading. The per front foot prices range from $12.50 to $20.00, with no assessments for street improvements, while in nearby suburbs, land, not nearly so desirable as to location, is priced at $25.00 to $50.00 per front foot, plus the cost of street improvements and a higher annual tax rate. Wyomissing Hills frontage is as low in price as other nearby property, unrestricted and without any distinctive characteristics to commend it.
The management invites a careful consideration of the conditions affecting this new suburb and a close comparison of its prices with others, firmly believing that such an examination will conclusively demonstrate that Wyomissing Hills is giving far greater value for the home-seekers’ money than any other and that its future promises more permanently favorable residence conditions and consequent growth in values that can be found anywhere around Reading.
Our protective restrictions establish its character and safeguard its future. Even when the population of Reading becomes three times that of today, and when its growth extends to our suburb, its large area, its situation, and binding restrictions, will maintain the distinctive and refined character of Wyomissing Hills and assure its permanency as a highly desirable residence section.
A Settled Policy of development
It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that an investment in Wyomissing Hills at the original selling prices will not only be a secure one but that the place will experience the steadily enhancing values which invariably accrue in the case of any marketable article that is in demand and that is at the same time limited in supply. This will be aided by the settled policy of the management to continue to develop the tract and perfect its features in pursuance of their fixed ambition to make it the most beautiful residence center about Reading and a model and a lesson in suburban development for all who care to learn.
The plan of Wyomissing Hills has been officially approved by the City Planning Commission, and the title to the land has been examined and approved by Isaac Hiester, Esq., of Reading, Pa.
|The frequency of the trolley car service between Wyomissing Hills and Reading, already affording excellent service, is constantly being increased and the doubling of the tracks, to and beyond the new suburb, will soon be an accomplished fact.|
Confidently Submitted to Your Sound Judgment
Come, see and examine, and we know that all and more than we say in this booklet will be borne out. The place itself will talk more eloquently than any printed words. The situation presents a better picture that can be given with pencil or brush. The management feels that it has placed before the people of Reading and vicinity an unusual opportunity for better conditions in home life; that it has provided an ideal home centre and has laid the foundations and provided for the development of a suburb which will stand the test of time and grow in beauty, desirability, and value. It confidently invites your examination and your judgment.
The management will take pleasure, upon request by mail or otherwise, in taking you to Wyomissing Hills by its auto service and in offering you every opportunity of examining the property in detail. Descriptive pamphlet, price list and this booklet mailed upon request.
There is a permanent office located upon the property where the sales manager or his assistants will be glad to receive you and to give you every assistance in making an investigation of the merits of the property.
GEORGE H. FELIX, Business Manager ~ WYOMISSING HILLS, Inc.
|Dwellers in Wyomissing Hills will dwell in a park and they will constantly look out upon a vast, decorated parkland, stretching to the horizon.
The motor car brings any location in Wyomissing Hills practically next door to the owner’s business and to the centre of Reading.
|You do not have to search for the beauties and advantages of Wyomissing Hills, they force themselves upon your attention at every point.
With every change of the sky, with every hour of the sun’s journey, in storm and calm, in winter and summer, there is constant and pleasing variety in the aspect of the vast panorama that spreads itself before the eye of the dweller in Wyomissing Hills.
I hope you enjoyed this look at our past here in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Thank you for visiting!