383: Tom Groholski Reading Skatepark late 80’s


Tom Groholski late 80’s Reading (PA) Skatepark

Photo Ben Cornish

Photoshop Hero Jason Oliva


This place was just plain old fun. Wonder if its still there.

14 thoughts on “383: Tom Groholski Reading Skatepark late 80’s

    1. Andy C

      It’s not a parking lot… It’s a development filled with houses. I rode there everyday after school from 92-02… Was at the Township Meetings fighting to keep it open and was there the day they started bulldozing. I still have a chunk of black top from the 9 bowl! The sad part was they made skating in Exeter illegal after they closed Magic. Cops used to Chase me away from Pathmark and KMart

  1. Baker

    I was there that day – swear to God! The were filming for a Vision video. Tom freakin’ ripped the lip of the old concrete pool up that day!

    1. Justin

      I was there that day too. I followed Tom for a few runs while they were filming. He’s on top of the hip going into snake bowl here.

  2. Jonny T

    Man, my family lived in a house not too, too far from that park when I was born – 327 Prospect Street in Pennside. We moved to Ohio when I was like four years old – in, like, 1980. Little did I know how much of a role skateboarding would play in my life in the years after we moved away from there.

    I saw a picture of that place in Transworld Skateboarding in, like, 1991 or 1992. It had been shut down by then, but it was still there and you could still skate it. On a trip with my mom there one June to see the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and everyone, I borrowed the family station wagon and set off for that park. I had my G&S Mark Heintzman Set-up (the double-tail one with the ketchup bottle graphic), a pair of Airwalks and little more than that Transworld photo to go on, but God bless those Berks County locals – even if they didn’t skate! A few questions at the local Wawa and I was on track!

    I found it, strolled in through what apparently was once the front gate and proceeded to shred the best I knew how. I had only been skateboarding about two years or so by then and I really didn’t know how to get the most out of asphalt waves like that, but, let me tell you – just cruising around at that abandoned place is one of my fondest skateboarding memories.

    I was there by myself. There aren’t any pictures. It wasn’t the ripping-est session I’ve ever had, but, God, was it a good time!

    Sadly, I drove by where it used to stand not even a week ago. My brother and I traveled to Allentown and Reading to spend Thanksgiving with some family and old friends. Once we passed the Central Catholic Stadium I knew we’d already driven by where that park was. It was kind of sad, but I’m glad I had that one day at that place – those few hours or however long I’d spent there.

    Thanks for the memories, Reading!

    – JT

  3. wayne

    My buddy Skip and I sessioned at Reading (which is the first park I ever road at — was a Lancaster local in 88′) the last week before it was demolished. There were lots of cats there including some long board pros that I hadn’t (and still don’t) a clue who they were. I have a piece of the macadam that sits on a book shelf in my living room. A guy named Chris was the best bowl riding local I ever saw there. He’s be around 40-42 years old now and was there A LOT! Chad Kramer (not sure if he was Berks or Lanc Co.?) also ripped that half they had in the 90’s to peices! Great times at a unique little hometown park. What a a shame they couldn’t keep it going. The best video part (prob the one the last poster was referring too?) was the Vision Psycho Skate vid from 89′ I think. Lots of Tom. Awesssssssssssssss.

  4. Mike E.

    This park wasn’t in Reading. It was in a suburb called Exeter. This was a wonderful place to skate and grow up. I have a couple of scars that will always remind me of this place. This skatepark should of been preserved as a landmark, instead it’s now rows of cookie-cutter homes. That’s Exeter in a nutshell. Demolish land for houses that they can’t fill and new schools. RIP Magic.

    1. Mike E.

      Upon further review, and being a youngster still. I guess this park was named Reading Skatepark before it caught the Skate Magic moniker. Please don’t yell at me you old guys. 🙂

  5. Ed Dy

    I was one of a few original skaters that traded my time helping build it in exchange for free skate time. The original name was Spinning Wheels, owned and built by two or three guys. The pool was sooooo janky, but we ripped it. Been a long time, and I too was sad to see it turned into crappy cookie cutter homes. A few original locals, John Parese, Dee Snyder, Terry Harner… names are slipping away but the fond memories remain. Hell, we built the mini-ramps and the vert ramp too… The old plexiglass and metal frame ramp blew over in the first few years…


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