Mantua Artist Considering Sale Of Studio Saved From Eminent Domain


James Dupree stands before his "Stolen Dreams in a Promise Zone," 2014 | Photo: Charles Mostoller, for Metro

James Dupree stands before his “Stolen Dreams in a Promise Zone,” 2014 | Photo: Charles Mostoller, for Metro

  • CBS Philly looks at the expanding exhibition of James Dupree, the Mantua artist who fought and beat City Hall in its attempt to seize through eminent domain his beloved 8,600-square-foot studio on the 3600 block of Haverford Avenue. Called “Stolen Dreams from the Promise Zone,” the 500-piece exhibit showcases the artistic manifestations of his ensuing struggles to restore his health and stabilize his finances. “But with rising taxes and developers closing in, Dupree says he’s growing weary of the fight. … the continued struggle makes selling more attractive.” A screening of a documentary focused on the life and work of Dupree, “Broken Dreams: The Man I Always Wanted to Be,” will compliment a showing of his work at Montgomery County Community College on October 13.
  • Jacob Adelman reports that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is considering the development of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul’s parking lot at the corner of 17th & Vine Streets. “Any plan would preserve the dignity of the Cathedral Basilica,” said spokesman Ken Gavin.
  • Philadelphia Housing Authority will lay off 126 employees—14% of its workforce—in order to counter a $21 million deficit brought about by slipping federal housing subsides and rising demand for affordable housing, reports Julia Terruso of The Inquirer. “When we looked at comparable housing authorities we found that PHA total [employee] costs per unit were $570 compared to others at $250 per unit,” explained president and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. “We know we needed to reduce staffing in order for our costs to come in line with our budget.”
  • Metro Philly recounts developer Ori Feibush’s frosty reception at a South Philadelphia HOMES RCO Zoning Committee meeting last week, in which he and architect Ian Toner shared their scaled-down plans for the redevelopment of a grocery store on Point Breeze Avenue. The two-story structure would have another two added to it, allowing for a dozen apartments. But what Toner calls an open design that provides a “nice juxtaposition” between old and new, residents fear will amount to just another lurid “glass box.” Neighbor Theresa McCormick says she is concerned that Feibush “will put what he wants and not what the community wants.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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