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

 

West Park Apartments from the west

For three quarters of the past century, public housing has controversially served low-income residents of several West Philadelphia neighborhoods.

 

From 1834 to 1977, Philadelphia maintained its public hospital on the west bank of the Schuylkill River. The facility evolved after the turn of the century from being a multipurpose almshouse (poorhouse) that provided a hospital, housing facilities, workhouse, and insane asylum for the City’s...

Mantua Street Scene

In the decades after World War II, Mantua was a poor majority-African American neighborhood in West Philadelphia’s northeastern section. In the 1980s, Mantua Against Drugs, a community-organizing campaign led by Mantua’s formidable activist Herman Wrice, worked vigorously and bravely to halt the...

Hannah Schoff Family

Hannah Kent Schoff, a resident of Powelton for some 60 years, is known for her leadership of the campaign to establish a juvenile court system in Philadelphia; and for her leadership role in establishing the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as a national organization with state affiliates.

Thomas E. Miller made his mark in history in South Carolina, where he bravely served as a four-time black legislator and one-time representative to the U.S. House between the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras. Miller spent at least a decade of his later life in the Powelton neighborhood. 

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

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander was a distinguished Philadelphian and Penn alumna who was the first African American woman in the United States to receive a Ph.D. degree in economics.  West Philadelphia’s splendid Penn Alexander Partnership School is named in her honor.

Mill Creek, once a power source for various mills, achieved notoriety in the 20th century as an underground culverted sewer and submerged floodplain that wreaked havoc with the West Philadelphia landscape. Since the late 1980s, the West Philadelphia Landscape Project has contributed university...

The Market Street Elevated or “El” shaped 20th Century West Philadelphia.

The neighborhood that today is Overbrook was once a hunting ground for the Lenape Indians; from the late 17th to the mid-19th century, a fertile, well-watered area of farmlands and stream-driven mills; and after the late-19th century, increasingly an area of residential housing. Overbrook Farms...

University Redevelopment Area Unit 3 came to represent the divide between university and community after residents were displaced as part of the creation of the University City Science Center.

Following World War II, urban renewal provided the resources for city officials and developers to create dramatic changes to the physical and social landscape of West Philadelphia.

As part of a wave of postwar urban renewal, the City of Philadelphia designated an 80-block area in eastern West Philadelphia for development by the University of Pennsylvania and the Drexel Institute (Drexel University).

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