Temple advertisements on the outside of SEPTA’s Cecil B. Moore subway station were removed this past weekend after some community members expressed concerns about them to SEPTA and elected officials.
Karen Asper Jordan, head of the Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters, started efforts to meet with SEPTA officials and called for the removal of Temple advertisements from the station.
“That is the Cecil B. Moore station, it’s not a Temple station,” Jordan said.
The advertising at the station was put up at the end of August as part of the university’s “Take Charge” advertising campaign, and included advertisements both above and below ground.
Richard Burnfield, SEPTA deputy general manager and treasurer, said the advertising was part of a 12-month contract between the university and SEPTA.
After Jordan and elected officials expressed concerns about the advertising to SEPTA, a meeting was held Oct. 8, at SEPTA’s headquarters in Center City. Both Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters and SEPTA officials were present, along with other community leaders.
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas of the 181st district also participated in the meeting via conference call, Jordan said.
“[The meeting] was to give the Freedom Fighters the opportunity to come in and talk to SEPTA and be able for them to tell us what their concerns were,” Burnfield said.
Cecily Banks, daughter of the late Cecil B. Moore and a 1976 alumna of Temple’s education program, was also in attendance.
“I think the general consensus was that no one objected to Temple branding itself or trying to increase its visibility in some respect,” Banks said. “Our problem was that they did it by obliterating [Moore’s] name and making it appear that that was not an issue.”
No Temple officials were at this meeting, nor were they asked to attend, Burnfield said.
Following discussions at the meeting, Burnfield said SEPTA decided to remove Temple advertising from the head house of the north entrance of the station and the outsides of the elevators at both the north and south entrances of the station.
Temple released a statement in response to the decision to remove Temple advertisements.
“Despite SEPTA’s decision, we believe the appearance of the station was significantly improved and that the upgraded condition and profile of the station honored its namesake, the late Cecil B. Moore,” the statement said.
Nick Peachey, a senior secondary education major, agrees with the university.
“I think it made the area look a lot nicer,” Peachey said.“I think there was probably a better compromise they could have made.”
Burnfield said maintaining a positive relationship with the community and its historical figures is important.
“We live and work here in the community and we want to be responsive to the overall needs of our stakeholders, whether it’s the community or others,” Burnfield said.
He added only the advertising above ground is being removed.
Jordan said she was told the advertising from below the station was being removed, as well.
“Why would we just want the outside taken down and not the inside? That doesn’t make sense,” Jordan said.
She added community, SEPTA and university leaders are supposed to meet in the future to discuss other plans with the station.
“That station was to be put exactly like it was until we could sit down at the table with everybody,” Jordan said.
Jenny Roberts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jennyroberts511.