It’s fun to watch intrusive, abusive, and exclusive government operations fail. It’s instructive to see how they react.
Years ago, internationally renowned artist James Dupree purchased a large building in Philadelphia’s depressed Mantua neighborhood to renovate it not only into his studio, but into a place other artists could practice their crafts.
Sadly, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) thought it should be taken from him and then transferred to a supermarket.
But with some final remarks from Brian Abernathy, PRA’s executive director, who thought it his mission to bring “healthy food” to the community:
Unfortunately, the legal costs associated with Mr. Dupree’s appeals make it impossible to continue. Despite all the work to date, PRA will end condemnation proceedings enabling Mr. Dupree to keep his studio. While we have explored the potential of building around Mr. Dupree’s property, a viable project under these conditions is not possible. In short, the inability to acquire Mr. Dupree’s property puts the prospect of bringing fresh food to this community at serious risk.
Nonsense. A successful artists’ complex is an asset to the health of a community, its economic health. And citizens, had they kept their community clean, and had the core city government helped keep it peaceful, would have eventually encouraged private expansion to serve local grocery needs.
Meanwhile, the PRA had not even lined up a business to put in the studio’s place. It was all speculation.
A “successful” PRA would probably have wound up with an empty lot.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.