See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Art-lover’s haven 

You may recall the day a few years back when the city of Detroit’s bulldozers launched an attack upon significant portions of Tyree Guyton’s world-renowned Heidelberg Project. But not all the splendid artwork thereabouts fell victim. This week’s abandoned house is testimony to that. This dilapidated and burned structure, located just one block west of Detroit’s most famous outdoor artistic community, was somehow overlooked by the city’s art liquidators. A neighbor says the house is a haven for unsavory characters (the Abandoned Shelter Squad (ASS) was confronted by two of them upon exiting the house) who defy attempts to board up the property and return nightly. Glass, nails, and a number of other dangerous objects that once held the house together litter the sidewalk and street. Precariously balanced chimneys seem ready to topple with the next strong breeze. Not to be outdone by their artistic neighbor, former residents expressed themselves on the living room walls by painting lewd portraits of attractive Asian women performing various sex acts upon a joint-smoking afro’d African-American male. Unlike much of the Heidelberg Project, however, the city has decided to preserve these creative expressions for future generations. Owner Clarence D. Johnson of Detroit did not respond to a request seeking his comments. Perhaps he prefers to maintain his status as Detroit’s least wanted underground art purveyor.

Adam Stanfel is an editorial intern at Metro Times. E-mail

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit