Posts tagged with "vacant":

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Architects and artists want to turn this vacant Detroit home into a community opera house

Detroit's 90,000 vacant homes and residential lots have proven to be fertile ground for artistic exploration, giving rise to verdant floral installations and canvases for sought-after graffiti artists. Now architects and artists from The D and beyond hope to turn an abandoned property at 1620 Morrell Street into something truly surprising. Dubbed House Opera | Opera House, the project aims to turn a decrepit, 2,000-square-foot house into a public performance space “where Detroiters could tell stories through music,” according to a Mitch McEwen, the project's principal architect. She spoke to WDET for their story, “From Blight to Stage Right”:
It evolved from a small group of artists in New York to a large group of folks across the country … neighbors have started to talk about performances or people in their families who perform that might get involved. And so we've really expanded from an immediate, emergency kind of dialogue to one that's about culture and talent that's already in the neighborhood, and how it can have a stage there at the House Opera.
McEwen bought the two-story home for just $1,200 in a public auction, paid off its delinquent property taxes, and got to work raising money for its second act. So far the project has received financial support from Graham FoundationKnight FoundationTaubman College – University of Michigan, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, as well as numerous individual benefactors including Mark Gardner, Theaster Gates and Dr. Larry Weiss.
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Why a florist in Detroit filled this abandoned house with flowers

Detroit florist Lisa Waud wants to give abandoned homes in her city a chance to bloom once more before they are demolished. Her project, The Flower House, had its trial run this month, when the Huffington Post reported she leaned out the second-story window of an abandoned house overlooking a Detroit freeway, and sprinkled white flower petals on spectators gathered below. Inside, the house was festooned with mosses, ferns, seasonal flowers and vines—more jungle than junk property—a visually arresting living art installation that Waud hopes will raise as much as $50,000 for future work. She says she will use the donations to repeat the project at other abandoned homes in the Detroit area and then deconstruct the buildings to salvage their materials. Waud bought two foreclosed structures in Detroit's Hamtramck area for a total of $500, and invited 13 florists (Waud runs the studio Pot & Box) to help her arrange about 4,000 flowers in 48 hours. She told The Huffington Post, “It was the best week of my creative life.” Heather Saunders Photography snapped an engrossing gallery of The Flower House, which you can see below.