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University City

Opened in 2011 on Chestnut Street near the corner of 33rd Street, the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building honors the memory of Drexel’s transformative president Constantine Papadakis.

This community garden, named for Powelton Village’s Summer and Winter streets, was created on University Redevelopment Area Unit 5 on a block-square that was off limits for campus expansion.

Contemporary juxtaposition of Drexel’s Chestnut Square (background) and Penn’s Singh Center for Nanotechnology (foreground) in Unit 1.  

Crowds gather to watch the demolition of buildings along Woodland Avenue.

The expansion plan for the University of Pennsylvania proposed by Paul P. Cret and the Olmstead Brothers in 1913 was the first to recommend the campus cross Woodland Avenue.

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.

At the turn of the Millennium, the University of Pennsylvania, under President Judith Rodin, orchestrated the West Philadelphia Initiatives, a proactive, multipronged strategy to improve social and economic conditions in Penn’s neighborhood of University City.

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.

A mosaic displaying a bulldozer approaching a row of houses filled with African American residents.

The University of Pennsylvania’s role in the creation of the University City Science Center in RDA Unit 3, a working-poor, majority-African American neighborhood known locally as the “Black Bottom,” severely damaged its community relations for decades to come.

Drexel’s campus expansion, funded by federal and city urban renewal dollars in the decades following World War II, brought the University into conflict, first with Penn and then with Drexel’s neighbors in Powelton Village.