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

 

Excited spectators pack the stands of the Arena at a 1966 76ers and Celtics game.

The Arena reached its peak in the post-war years with the emergence of professional basketball.

The Arena began as an ice rink, but quickly expanded to an arena used for events like boxing matches, rodeos, and major political events.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Drexel University rebounded from financial and reputational decline to become a thriving, multifaceted hub of education and urban revival.

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

Over the course of the twentieth century, the academic program of the Institute grew to comprise an array of coeducational undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering, science, and technology, with engineering as the flagship discipline.

Anthony J. Drexel created the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry—the 1891 forefather of Drexel University—with the goal of providing working-class students with a balanced education and path of upward mobility.

Black and white portrait photograph of Anthony J. Drexel.

Anthony J. Drexel is significant in West Philadelphia’s history not only as the founder and namesake of Drexel University, but also as an expansive property owner, developer, and philanthropist.

The West Philadelphia Corporation, a non-profit coalition formed by local “higher eds and meds,” created and marketed the neighborhood of “University City.”

Market Street Bridge and the Schuylkill River, 1900

At the turn of the last century, the privately formed Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company contracted with the city to build and operate the electrified Market Street Elevated (“The El”), with a component designated for West Philadelphia.

The West Philadelphia Community Free School—an experimental school annex created to alleviate overcrowding at West Philadelphia High School—was ultimately undone by conflicting visions for how it would function.

Black and white portrait photograph of Sadie T.M. Alexander wearing glasses, print jacket, and blouse with large bow.

Sadie Alexander broke barriers of race and gender as the first African American woman to achieve many accomplishments, and she worked diligently to open opportunities for others to follow in her footsteps.

Armstrong Association Fundraising Campaign Stamp

Concerned Philadelphians addressed the housing issues and discrimination faced by migrants.

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