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Secondary Schools

Mill Creek Homes

The architect Louis I. Kahn’s design for Mill Creek Homes—three 17-storey high-rise buildings and a cluster of two- and three-storey low-rises—was implemented by the Philadelphia Housing Authority in the Mill Creek neighborhood beginning in 1953 and extending into the 1960s, though with reductions in Kahn’s original design. 

In this Evening Bulletin photo of orientation activities at House One, Rodney Davis, 16, take notes on the courses he plans to take. Each sheet has a course description. 

In this Evening Bulletin photo, new Free School students, Gordenia Burrell (left) and Norman Washington, chat with teacher Richard Seymour as other students and faculty members gather (background) in House One. Seymour was the head teacher at House One (3833 Walnut Street). 

Left to right: John Mount, of the training section of the U.S. Post Office; Linda Powell, West Philadelphia High School (WPHS), junior moving to the Free School; Dr. Aase Eriksen, Penn GSE lecturer and director of the Free School; Donald Colman, WPHS junior also at the Free School; and Richard Seymour, head teacher of the Free School's first unit, House One (3833 Walnut Street) review books for House One.”

In 1969, West Philadelphia High School’s enrollment was 99 percent African American, with some 3,800 students packed into a building whose capacity was 2,400. The high school’s principal, Walter Scott, saw the Free School as a means both to reduce overcrowding at WPHS and to outsource the main building’s disruptive students, especially its gang members.