About this Collection

Water M. Phillips interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders on subjects related to Philadelphia city government and history between the late 1930s and the 1970s. Related collection: Walter M. Phillips, Sr. Papers (Acc. 527)

About this Interview

James Martin, a former Temple University graduate and developer, begins the interview by "sketching a brief history of the Old Philadelphia Development Corporation." OPDC was founded in the late 1950s to try to involve the private business sector in the downtown development program. Working with private companies, they helped to redevelop and sell historical property. Martin became involved with the OPDC in 1968, but he began working in this field in 1963 as a trainee at the Redevelopment Authority before becoming an urban renewal technician and later a project coordinator. In 1969 Martin helped to form the Penn's Landing Corporation as a committee within OPDC to redevelop the "historic mile." At the same time there was a strong citizen's movement to get I-95 depressed and covered. Martin also worked redeveloping the Garment Center and on improving the commuter connection in the city, modernizing it and streamlining it into one system--the SEPTA system.

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Biographical / Historical Note

Walter M. Phillips, Sr. (1912-1985) was active in Philadelphia civic and political life for over thirty years. He worked and volunteered in a variety of city and regional organizations. After retiring, Phillips initiated an oral history project, interviewing in the 1970s many individuals with whom he had worked.

Record Details

James Martin Oral History, March 16, 1977
City planning, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Martin, James
Personal Names:
Dilworth, Richardson, 1898-1974, Rafsky, William, Martin, James
Geographic Subject:
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Organization / Building:
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Repository Collection:
Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories
Oral Histories
Contact SCRC for the audio recording corresponding to this transcript.
Transcript Identifier:

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This material is subject to copyright law and is made available for private study, scholarship, and research purposes only. For access to the original or a high resolution reproduction, and for permission to publish, please contact Temple University Libraries, Special Collections Research Center, scrc@temple.edu, 215-204-8257.

Transcript Note

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview. The interviewee/narrator read the transcript and made minor corrections, but the reader should bear in mind that it represents a transcription of the spoken word.

Note on ADA Compliance

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About This Collection

Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories

Ohist cover
Walter M. Phillips initiated an oral history project, and between c. 1974 and 1980 interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders.
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