The Heidelberg Project is an art environment that spans two Detroit city blocks. Tyree Guyton began the project almost twenty years ago in 1986, in response to the deterioration of his neighborhood, which was being consumed by drugs, poverty, and violence. He began by cleaning up vacant lots, working alongside his grandfather and local children.
He reused the detritus they collected from the lots to build what has become both a piece of art and vision of his community. Attaching found items on the walls of deserted homes, he transformed the structures into art sculptures. Empty lots became public art gardens. Soon the neighborhood had polka-dotted streets. Shopping carts peeked out of trees and stuffed animals hang from houses. Guyton, who began with a devastated city space, has slowly converted Heidelberg Street into a colorful, imaginative artscape that inspires play, dialogue, and new ideas about how to rebuild a community. More from www.architizer.com with photos (c)K.Scott Kreider: