Heidelberg Project house in Detroit burns again

DETROIT (AP) — One of the houses that make up the internationally known Heidelberg Project outdoor art installation in Detroit has burned for a second time in recent months.

The early Saturday blaze at the Obstruction of Justice House on Detroit’s east side is considered suspicious, The Detroit News and MLive.com reported. Also known as the O.J. House, it dates back to 1995 as a piece of art.

The house also was damaged during a May fire.

“I won’t be defeated. I refuse to go down,” said Tyree Guyton, creator of the Heidelberg Project, which draws art lovers from around the world to a battered section of Detroit’s east side.

The Detroit artist has transformed his decaying, crime-ridden neighborhood into an interactive sculpture park.

On Sunday, Guyton began working with volunteers to clear the ruins and turn the wreckage into art.

“Oh, man, all this beautiful work,” said Leammond Gibson, a volunteer who was cleaning the site Sunday.

“It was beautiful,” said Leammond Gibson, as he raked chunks of charred wood from the base of the home into a pile. “He’s an artist, he made it work and it looked good. “Somebody didn’t like that, I guess.”

“I’m not mad, not at all,” Guyton said, just moments before addressing a youth group visiting from a West Bloomfield Township synagogue. “I think it’s important to show this person that through it all, I won’t stop. I can’t.”

Volunteer Marie Paxton, a self-described “junkologist” who takes items to Tyree, said, “Just because of fire, you can’t take something away from somebody.

“It’s a shame that somebody could be so mean, so malicious,” Paxton said.

Guyton, while upset, was determined to turn a negative into a positive.

“This is going to help me elevate my mind to a higher level,” Guyton said. “It’s good versus evil. I believe what I’m doing is good and what they did was evil.”

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Online:

http://www.heidelberg.org

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