Why Duke Photography’s iconic building will be demolished

By Priscilla Totiyapungprasert | Arizona Republic

A local real estate investor, an iconic building and the impending arrival of a chicken fingers restaurant have become part of a debate among central Phoenix neighborhood groups.

Arizona Republic first reported on April 28 there were plans to demolish the Duke Photography building and replace it with a Raising Cane’s after local investor Aaron Klusman purchased the property from the Duke family.

The proposed development raised questions in the community about what was happening to the Duke Photography business and whether the fast food chain was a suitable replacement for that location. The distinct building in midtown Phoenix has been home to the family-run photo studio for more than half a century, stirring up nostalgia for Valley residents.

Weeks later, three neighborhood associations in central Phoenix weighed in with their official stance: They oppose the construction of the drive-thru restaurant, citing traffic concerns.

The longstanding photo business is undergoing other changes as well. In a press release The Republic received May 14, Klusman announced he and his partners had purchased the business itself.

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