This week in Phily Tech History: University City Science Center celebrates 50th

Tom Paine

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Philadelphia's University City Science Center, founded in 1963, has been remembering its 50th anniversary throughout 2013.

It will be holding a celebration of its anniversary this coming Thursday evening (October 17) at the Hotel Monaco. It appears to be sold out, according to its Eventbrite page. The event will feature a formal program highlighting the Science Center’s history and successes, and the announcement of the inaugural inductees into the Innovators Walk of Fame.

Based on information the Science Center shared with me, the nearest thing to an official
founding date may be October 28,1963:

  • January 1963, Gaylord P. Harnwell, President of both the University of Pennsylvania and the West Philadelphia Corporation, appointed a committee chaired by E.B. Shils, Professor of Industry in the Wharton School, to advise a course of action for the University to take on the possible development of a science center in University City.

  • 28 October 1963, Penn joined with Drexel, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, Presbyterian Hospital, and Temple University to submit articles of incorporation for the University City Science Center (UCSC) and the University City Science Institute (UCSI) to the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

The University of Pennsylvania archives contains this excellent,in-depth history of the UCSC written by MacKenzie S. Carlson.

"Building 1" at 3401 Market /
Courtesy University City Science Center

The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the Port business incubator have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually, the organization says.

Stephen S. Tang PhD has served as President & CEO since 2008.

Update: Science Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary - Launches Innovators Walk of Fame

Links 10/14/2013: New York Times on Philly newspaper war

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