Site Of MOVE Bombing Is Philadelphia's Next Target For Redevelopment
Of the 65 homes destroyed in the 1985 fire and subsequently rebuilt on the cheap, 36 of the now-abandoned houses were purchased by the redevelopment authority beginning in 2000, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The organization announced on Tuesday that it has picked AJR Endeavors to redevelop the homes.
Black liberation and primitivist organization MOVE's headquarters at 6221 Osage Ave. in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood was bombed by a Philadelphia police helicopter on May 13, 1985, setting fire to the house. To force members outside, firefighters were ordered not to put out the blaze, and 11 people died, including five children. The unchecked fire proceeded to jump from house to house, ultimately destroying two blocks worth of houses and displacing about 250 people.
In the decades since, the 6200 blocks of Osage Avenue and Pine Street have been among the city's most blighted, but the PRA hopes that the new homes will begin a turnaround for the area.