• Petitioning Michael Nutter

This petition will be delivered to:

Mayor of Philadelphia
Michael Nutter
Philadelphia City Council President
Darrell L. Clarke
District 3 Council Member
Jannie L. Blackwell
3rd District Council Member
Jannie L. Blackwell

Return the deed to property owners of 3617 Haverford Ave., Philadelphia

    1. James Dupree
    2. Petition by

      James Dupree


Dupree Studios, 3617 Haverford Ave., is a valuable asset for Mantua, West Philadelphia and should not be destroyed under eminent domain law and exploited for private developers. Purchased in 2005 by local artist James E. Dupree, this 8,000 sq. ft. warehouse turned art studio provides cultural significance to the area and was designed as a museum and studio for art production, instruction, and residency.  

In December 2012, the City of Philadelphia seized the deed of Dupree Studios and granted acquisition to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in accordance with the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code. City Hall has teamed up with private developers to transform the Mantua section, including the project and development of "The Plaza", a suburban-style supermarket encompassing four full city blocks, regretfully reducing Dupree Studios to a parking lot.

Let's support local artists and protect small business owners from being exploited.  If the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority wants to sell private property to a private developer, let the land owners sell to them directly by returning the deed the original tax paying owners.

Save Dupree Studios by signing the petition. Don't let City Hall think it's okay to take individual property for private developers to prosper. 

Thank you,

Dupree Studios 


Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia
Darrell L. Clarke, Philadelphia City Council President
Jannie L. Blackwell, District 3 Council Member
Jannie L. Blackwell, 3rd District Council Member
Return the deed to the property owners of 3617 Haverford Ave., Philadelphia

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority offers James Dupree a new studio

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer


      This is the property that Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) offered as "a great exchange for [James]". Even amongst all the renovations done at Dupree Studios, this what the PRA considers fair market value... We need to continue to keep this story in the media. Please share our case to save Dupree Studios!

      The Philadelphia Housing Authority offers artist James Dupree a new studio

      After seizing his deed, and multiple attempts at kicking him out of his studio, and no respect at their meetings towards him, the RDA finally offers artist James Dupree a "new" building to move into.

    2. Thank you for coming to the SDS open house

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      We want to give a HUGE thanks to everyone that came out to see Dupree Studios for the Save Dupree Studios Open House event. We had about 300-400 visitors through out the day and we hope everyone enjoyed themselves. Special thanks to our sponsors, the ACLU of PA and the Institute for Justice, as well as entertainment from A1 Funky Fun, GED, Hazie Blu, Rob Willis and our other performers.

      Please continue to share this petition with your community! We will keep you informed on any new developments.

    3. See you this Saturday for Open Studio!

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      See you this Saturday!

      James Dupree Invite

      This link is unlisted and the video intended for Dupree Studios YouTube channel. Only those who are given the link can see this video

    4. Open Studio Event: The Dupree Dream, April 26

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      On April 26th, 2014, Dupree Studios will be opening its doors to show the public what the City of Philadelphia plans to tear down in the name of “revitalization”. We want to inform fellow citizens about the unconstitutional seizure of this inspiring and unique property. We also want to share this creative space with others, while the opportunity still stands. We hope our collective efforts will result in the preservation and acknowledgement of Dupree Studios' true value.

      Let's come together and show how art can empower.

      Main Event: 7PM Live Guest Speakers and Live Interview with Gene Marks and James Dupree

      Tours of the Dupree museum @ 3PM, 5PM and 6PM,
      Musical acts, DJs, Spin Art for kids and Muraling all day

      Saturday, April 26th, 2014 2PM-9PM
      3617 Haverford Avenue (36th and Haverford)

      Come see James Dupree's dream before it is (potentially) shut down.

    5. Reached 3,000 signatures
    6. Story featured on ReasonTV

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you ReasonTV for documenting our story. Five minute clip detailing our case below:

      Philly Artist Fights City Hall Over Eminent Domain Abuse

      Philadelphia's James Dupree is an accomplished artist whose work has appeared in museum all over the world, including his hometown's Philadelphia Museum of Art and African American Museum. In 2005, Dupree bought a dilapidated warehouse in the City of Brotherly Love's Mantua neighborhood and worked to turn it into a studio that hosts his personal workshop, art classes, and even visitors through Airbnb.

    7. Save Dupree Studios Event

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      James Dupree has been living in limbo and uncertainty battling the City of Philadelphia over eminent domain laws that threaten to demolish his studio. He has created this new body of work to combat depression and tell a visual story of the events of the last seven years.

      Come join us for a new series by James Dupree:
      "Stolen Dreams in the Promise Zone"

      Opening Reception Saturday, March 1, 5-10pm

      Hope to see you there!
      Save Dupree

    8. 2500 Signatures and BIG Media Coverage this Week!

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Supporters,

      With 2500 signatures behind us, our battle continues. Thank you for sharing our story and coming to our support during this difficult time. More and more media outlets continue to pick up our story and we are thankful that we are not fighting this alone.

      For the most recent update, tune into The Stossel Show with John Stossel Thursday Feb 13 at 9:00 pm ET on Fox Network, for a segment on our story!

    9. Reached 2,500 signatures
    10. 1500 Signatures over the weekend

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      Over the weekend we reached another milestone, 1500 Signatures! Thanks to all of our supporters, keep sharing!

    11. Reached 1,500 signatures
    12. We've Reached 1,000 Signatures!

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      1 Week- 1,000 signatures! Thank you to everyone who has supported us and shared this story with your community. The success of the petition thus far has gained interest from media, and we are now contacting additional media, state, and city representatives.

    13. Reached 750 signatures
    14. OVER 250 Signatures!

      James Dupree
      Petition Organizer

      WOW! We have surpassed 250 signatures for the petition, in only 24 hours. THANK YOU for all your support and comments. Please continue to share this petition with your community!

    15. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • about 9 hours ago

      Government "over reach" has gotten out of hand.

      • 1 day ago
      • 1 day ago

      I hope Mr. Dupree accepts this poem in the spirit in which it was written. I signed his petition because I feel his pain, and I am rebuilding after having to sell my place of business too...here is my petition about my fight with the city and visit facebook at philly247childcare to support us in rebuilding.

      I changed the poem of Martin Nemoiller to fit the lessons of gentrification here in Philadelphia....

      First they came for the sisters carrying bags of WIC on Septa and asked them, fold up your baby carriage and carry the baby, the coach and the milk, and I did not speak out—

      Because my wife had a car to drive my kids around....

      Then they came for the brothers idle in the streets and shot them dead, and I did not speak out—

      Because I had a job and I was respected in my community

      Then they evicted my people, I watched their houses fall down, and I did not speak out—

      Because I had a real jazzy pad and I figured I'd fit in when all the white people come

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    • Mona Danziger STATEN ISLAND, NY
      • 3 days ago

      This is totally unfair to Mr. Dupree, and to the city of Philadelphia because they will miss out on his beautiful artwork!!! Government needs to MOVE OUT!!

    • rachael dupree PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • 6 days ago

      Markets can b built anywhere. ...


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