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January 31, 2013

"The School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems still resides on the top two floors of the building that was once called Commonwealth Hall."

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the opening of Commonwealth Hall, a building that long loomed over Drexel’s campus in the early days of the Institute. It was acquired and renovated with great fanfare, but today is nearly hidden.

Nearly a century ago, a brick warehouse was constructed at 3120 Market Street. Long and narrow, the warehouse fronted on Market Street and stretched back to Ludlow Street. The Market Street Elevated Line ran in front of it, at a time when the “El” was aboveground all the way across town. It was built for the Twentieth Century Company, but was soon called the Red Lion warehouse. This seven-story landmark was visible from blocks away, towering above the modest buildings of the neighborhood. In this photo from the collection of the University Archives, most likely taken in the 1950s, the Red Lion warehouse is visible at the top of the scene, north of Main Building. For the full story, please visit:


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