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Stories offer an individual narrative of a specific subject. They are the building blocks of Story Collections.

 

Private Redevelopment in Mantua

In 2014, President Barack Obama designated Mantua and several other poor neighborhoods north of Market Street as the West Philadelphia Promise Zone.

Herman Wrice Mural

Herman Wrice, who founded Mantua Against Drugs (MAD), led a brave 15-year campaign to drive narcotics dealers from Mantua and to shut down their crack houses.

Harsh social conditions made Mantua, a high-poverty African American neighborhood, vulnerable to the devastation of the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.

Older Mantua Rowhouses

Acceleration of the Great Migration of southern blacks moving north between 1940 and 1950 transformed Mantua from a majority white to a majority black neighborhood, whose population by 1960 was virtually all-African American.

Hannah Schoff Family

Hannah Kent Schoff, a resident of Powelton, was a progressive advocate for the health and wellbeing of the nation’s children.

Thomas E. Miller was notable as a member of the South Carolina legislature and senate during the Reconstruction era; later, at the onset of the Jim Crow era, he served a short-term in the U.S. House of Representatives; he and his family arrived in Powelton in or around 1921.

Since 1987, Anne Whiston Spirn, a renowned landscape historian, first at the University of Pennsylvania, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been actively involved with her students, West Philadelphia community allies, and the Philadelphia Water Department in studying the...

In the 20th century, with the development of one suburb after another, the “built landscape” of West Philadelphia deposited unmanageable amounts of wastewater in the Mill Creek sewer, which, under severe pressure, periodically overflowed and, more disastrously, collapsed.

In the early 19th century, textile mills arose along Mill Creek. The late 19th century saw the “burial” of the creek in a culverted sewer, which extended from the future intersection of City Line Avenue near 63rd Street to the Schuylkill River below Baltimore Avenue.  

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.

From 1973 to 1978, members of MOVE adopted a radically alternative, anti-technology lifestyle and displayed a political militancy that provoked a devastating assault by the Philadelphia police on the organization’s Powelton Village headquarters.

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