It’s no mystery that Temple is slowly taking over Philadelphia. With all the success the school had this year in terms of academics and athletics, it has become a well-known entity in Philadelphia. However, when the entrance to the Cecil B. Moore subway station (located on campus) was remodeled in Temple colors, it rose the question – how much is too much?
The entrance to the Broad Street Line stop was covered in cherry-colored decals reading ‘Temple University,’ while glass walls underground were tinted the same color.
The station was remodeled this August as part of Temple’s new branding strategy, and it definitely got a lot of attention.
“The Cecil B. Moore Station is a major entryway to Main Campus, and as such we want our students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public to see and feel the energy of our campus as soon as they arrive,” vice president for strategic marketing and communications Karen Clark said on Temple’s website.
The redecoration was met with praise from most Temple students.
“I like the new subway station,” junior Michael Chism said. “I think it is just another great thing about Temple.”
However, some residents of the surrounding North Philadelphia neighborhoods who grew up near the stop found this change upsetting. The stop is named after an important Philadelphia civil rights activist, and many found it inappropriate to cover up his name.
“I think it is mostly upsetting for local residents,” said North Philadelphia resident Leroy Dryden. “Not because of the residents, but because of people who live out of town. It is the Cecil B. Moore station, not the Temple University station, and people who live out of town aren’t going to know that – that is what’s upsetting.”
Dryden was not alone.
In response to negative reactions from residents and organizations like the Philadelphia Freedom Fighters, SEPTA officials took action in late October. They removed the large Temple sign that covered the Cecil B. Moore name and took down many of the other Temple decals located inside the station.
According to an article by Rob Dirienzo from Philadelphia magazine, SEPTA Assistant General Manager Fran Kelly said, “SEPTA made a mistake and we overdid it.” He also noted the stop is the only station named after an individual.
The Cecil B. Moore station is a notable part of Temple’s campus as well as North Philadelphia as a whole. Temple’s expansion is undeniable, but hopefully this instance will help the school become part of Philadelphia in a different sense.
Written by Jenna Faccenda
Photographed by Jademan Baker