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Despite two investigations into the circumstances of the event, the effects of the 1985 MOVE fire still resonate on Osage Avenue and with MOVE members today.

On May 13, 1985, after three years of nuisance complaints from MOVE’s Osage Avenue neighbors, a confrontation between MOVE and the Philadelphia Police ended in arguably the most traumatizing event in Philadelphia’s history.

Students at the Jubilee School, a private middle-school at 42nd and Chester streets, researched the 1985 MOVE bombing and successfully campaigned for the State Historical Marker installed on the southeast corner of Osage Avenue and Cobbs Creek Parkway in the summer of 2017.

Sheldon Hackney (second from left) discusses divestment in apartheid South Africa in 1986. Student protests for divestment were part of the turbulent campus politics Hackney experienced during his tenure as President of the University of Pennsylvania. 

The Netter Center for Community Partnerships is the centerpiece of Penn’s quarter-century effort to establish mutually beneficial university–community–public school partnerships in West Philadelphia.

In the 1970s, the University of Pennsylvania turned inward from West Philadelphia, unable and unwilling to restore its frayed community relations in the face of an unprecedented rise in violent crime.

Exterior of the Arena shortly before its auction in 1977

White outmigration, owner turnover, and construction of the Spectrum brought the Arena to its final years of operation.

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Drexel was plagued by sharply declining enrollments and hostilities between faculty and university administrators.

Two loudspeakers and the rooftop bunker (target of a satchel bomb dropped from a police helicopter during the siege of May 13th) are visible on the facade of the fortified MOVE house at 6221 Osage Avenue in late April 1985.

Firefighters attempted to douse the raging fire on May 13, 1985, but city officials had already allowed the fire to burn to the point that it could no longer be contained.