By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The world-renowned artist that went head to head with the city of Philadelphia over his Mantua studio has ended his two year court battle on top. The city’s redevelopment authority decided to drop its lawsuit.
It was January of 2012 when the city condemned James Dupree’s 8,600 square-foot studio at 36th and Haverford Streets under the law of eminent domain. They offered to buy the property and relocate Dupree, but he refused. The city’s goal was to sell the property to a private developer who would build a grocery store.
“He felt like his entire life was in that studio,” says Giovanna Dupree. “It was and it is.”
She says her father stopped creating months ago because of stress, but now that the city has dropped its case, brighter days are ahead.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” she says. “This is the news we’ve been waiting for many years.”
Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Brian Abernathy issued a statement saying heightened media attention and rising court costs left the city little choice. He wrote — they will continue to work to bring a grocery store to Mantua.
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