Iconic Duke Photography building could be demolished to make way for Raising Cane’s restaurant

If you've driven around Phoenix, there's a good chance you've seen the Duke Photography sign that's been part of the Valley since the 1950s, but soon it may be gone, and a fast food restaurant could take its place.

Neighbors are not happy about the upcoming change on 7th Avenue just south of Thomas Road. The building is set to be demolished after the owner of Duke Photography sold the structure. He will be moving the company to a different location.

In its place, some rumors have been swirling and some paperwork has been filed with the city for a Raising Cane's restaurant, but that isn't sitting well with many residents in the area.

"Being here for all those decades of service is pretty unique. We've been here a long time," said Darrel Duke, the owner of Duke Photography.

The pictures on the wall may have changed, but for 71 years, Duke Photography's iconic home has been the same.


 

"I'm sorry it's all coming to an end! It's not!"

Darrel runs it now and says his family finally decided it was time to sell the building, but they're not closing their doors.

"We've been thinking about moving for quite a while now to another part of the Valley. Maybe further north Phoenix, Scottsdale, east Phoenix."

The pictures will be taken somewhere else and their old digs could be a Raising Cane's restaurant soon.

"It just doesn't make sense for them to tear down something historic and beautiful," said Gabrielle.

Some neighbors aren't in love with the idea and Brent Kleinman, the president of the Encanto Palmcroft Neighborhood Association nearby, says it's not the chicken, it's the traffic.

"In about an hour or two, this is gonna change to a 'suicide lane' with no left turns. If people have enough trouble managing that, with a [Raising] Cane's backed up on the street. It's accidents on a daily basis."

As they say, all good things must come to an end. So maybe get one last photo of Duke Photograph before it's too late.

"You always go back to the shoebox or whatever and go, oh yeah, I remember that," said Darrel.

Neighbor talks about plans for the Duke's building to be demolished

Gabrielle says she's lived in the neighborhood for a little under three years, but has lived in Phoenix almost her whole life. So when she heard the news that Duke's was to be demolished and a Raising Cane's was going to go potentially in its place, she was devastated.

"A staple building in the city and of course, the sign. It just didn't sit well with only myself, but to kind of gauge interaction, I had to try to figure out how it felt for other people, too," she said. "Was I the only one feeling this way? My neighborhood, especially felt very strongly."

Gabrielle says she doesn't want to see the building demolished because it has been there for 70 years.

"It doesn't make sense for them to tear down something historic and beautiful to replace it with something that's like, shiny and new when that doesn't necessarily reflect what this neighborhood around them looks like, including the Willow district."

Gabrielle is also spearheading research efforts.

"Just understanding that a petition doesn't necessarily mean that a link can be sent out and what the logistics are behind it of sharing of sharing, I mean, it's not as easy to share a link as it would be a photo, so just trying to figure out what the best way to get it out to everybody."

We did reach out to Raising Cane's for comment, but still have not heard back from them as to what the proposal with the city of Phoenix was for zoning requirements.

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