Looking Back, Facing Forward

Involving over one hundred youth from throughout the city of Reading, this mural taught the young painters about the history of Reading's waterfront in the era of canals. The project culminated in an historic display for the community on a remnant of that era.


Reading Area Community College Campus

(mural is on the Guard Lock Bridge near the Yocum Library)
Riverfront Drive

Reading, PA 19602

Project Support


Olivet Boys and Girls Club

Reading Area Community College

Mural Design:

Ed Terrell

Michael L. Miller


Olivet Boys and Girls Club

Margery Grandstrom, coordinator

Project Historian:

George M. Meiser IX

Project completion


About the Project

Before the city of Reading was known for railroads, canals were the super highways of the time. This project set out to work with local historian George Meiser in choosing several iconic photos of Reading's canal history and paint them together with youth from the Olivet Boys and Girls Club. All the students who helped paint the mural were invited to pose for photo that expressed them showing their work to the community. Six of these photos were selected to be featured in the final work. The paintings were fabricated at Olivet sites throughout the city and the finished paintings were installed on the Guardlock Bridge, a landmark that shows where the canal had once entered the city.