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02 April 2005



I don't understand people like you. The mural arts program is a wonderful effort on behalf of the city for many reasons. For one, it adds color to an often dark city. It also adds a landmark of beauty so that abandoned building across the street is not the central focus of a neighborhood. They also give the local artists an opportunity to express the locals of the neighborhood and what they see as important to who they are. The murals are a WONDERFUL aspect of this city and something that no other city I have ever seen does nearly as well. This is a great chance for us Philadelphians to see the artistic ability of our neighbors. Furthermore, it gives locals a chance to take part in something positive in ALL neighborhoods. Collaboration of these projects invite the community to take part and give young people an opportunity to learn of their neighborhood's uniqueness.
Lastly I wanted to add, that as a Temple University grad., I think you may want to get your facts straight. Temple is NOT a state school. Yes, it receives state funding in return for offering special rates for PA residents, but T.U. sets its own curriculum to its own accord. The state has no control over the university as it does in ,say East Stroudsberg. Nor does the University resemble a fortress. I don't know where you have been on campus, but unless the obvious posting of Temple flags on campus, there is little in which encloses the university.
So the next time you open your trap about something, I suggest you actually know what it is you are talking about!


To be precise Temple is one of four universities that are members of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania. The others are Pitt, Penn State, and Lincoln. As such they are independently operated public universities that receive public funding. While not part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which includes East Stroudsberg, Kutztown, etc., they are definitely state-sponsored universities.

Perhaps you misread what I wrote 2.5 years ago, as I clearly said I have "mixed emotions" about the murals. Yes, they do all the good things you mention. My larger point was that the murals would have no reason to exist if Philadelphia's economy were strong enough to support housing and business to fill in all those empty lots.


"State-related" is the odd term by which Temple is known.

You're dead-on about the murals. Beyond some of the crudely executed efforts in South Philadephia and the Wilt Chamberlain mural at 13th(?) Street and the Vine Street Expressway, some of the Philadephia murals are stunning. The performing-arts mural at Broad and Lombard is one of my favorites.

At the same time, many (though not all) the murals adorn empty, abandoned lots. And not ALL of Temple is concrete bunkers. Even if you were dead wrong, I don't like the idea that the mural project, or any other project, person, institution or school of thought, should be deemed beyond criticism because of its good intentions. Still less do I like the bullying verbal thuggery sometimes unleashed on anyone who dares utter anything like a negative thought about such a project, person or institution.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

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