Artist’s Fight To Save Studio Space from Philly Takeover Is Work In Progress

November 22, 2013 – In The News

David B. Snyder was quoted in the Newsworks article “Artist’s Fight To Save Studio Space from Philly Takeover Is Work In Progress.” While the full text can be found in the November 22, 2013, issue of Newsworks, a synopsis is noted below.

Prominent Philadelphia artist, James Dupree, is fighting the city for possession of a warehouse he converted into artist studios on a block where the city would like to see a supermarket.

Dupree bought the building nine years ago and has turned it into a series of rooms for studios, apartments and classes.

The building is located on a block that is around 90% abandoned. The city has condemned the entire block as blighted, and is collecting all the parcels, including Dupree’s, through eminent domain.

Dupree is fighting with Philadelphia over eminent domain, a law which forces property owners to sell their land to the city to make room for civic projects such as roads or public buildings. In this situation, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority plans to turn all the lots on this block into a supermarket, which is lacking in the area.

“Even though the public may not be using the property for the development it was taken for, it would still be a ‘public purpose’ if it was taken for economic development,” said Snyder. “Therefore it would satisfy the Fifth Amendment.”