James Dupree, a prominent Philadelphia artist with a large (around 8,000 sq ft) studio in Mantua is
trying to hold on to his property in the face of an eminent eminent domain land grab. The property was seized in December of 2012, but Dupree has stuck around.
Dupree says that the city offered him $640,000 for the studio, a figure far lower than the $2.2M he says it's worth. Though the city says that the area is a food desert, and that taking Dupree's studio will create space for a grocery store, Dupree claims (in an interview on Fox News) that there is a nearby grocery store and that the area is not a food desert.
Though this battle is not new (Dupree said he found out about the plans for his studio seven years ago,) the wide-ranging interest in saving Dupree studios is a more recent development. Organizations like the ACLU are supporting him, as well as conservative and libertarian groups that oppose eminent domain.
· W. Phila. artist fights city plan to buy his studio [The Inquirer]
· James Dupree vs. city of Philadelphia [Fox News]
· City Using Eminent Domain to Tear Down Artist's Home & Studio [Curbed Philly]