by Lee DeVito
The "Obstruction of Justice House," the first installation to be destroyed at Detroit's Heidelberg Project.
Yet another act of arson occurred at the Heidelberg Project in Detroit, destroying a fifth house, known as the "Clock House," Click on Detroit reports. Since May, five of the seven installations have been completely destroyed by eight different fires.
The project, which was started in 1986 by Detroiter Tyree Guyton and has transformed abandoned homes into giant works of art, has been both a destination for tourists from around the world as well as the target of city officials who deem it an eyesore. “It is difficult for us not to believe the arson fires are connected,” Heidelberg Project Marketing and Communications Coordinator Katie Hearn says to Metro Times via email. “The choice of targets seems very strategic, the timing of the attacks calculated.”
The first in the string of fires occurred on May 3rd at the “Obstruction of Justice House,” also known as the “OJ House.” The house was again targeted on Oct. 5th, when it was completely destroyed. Two more fires followed days later, which caused minor damage to the “Penny House” and the “Number House.” The “House of Soul,” was the next victim, burning down on Nov. 12th, followed by another attack on the "Penny House", which caused it to burn down on Nov. 21st. Another arson occurred Nov. 28th, Thanksgiving Day morning, at an installation known as the “War Room," followed by the most recent fire Dec. 8th at the "Clock House."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for any information on the perpetrators of a recent string of fires that have plagued Detroit’s Heidelberg Project in recent months. Anyone with an information regarding the fires should contact special Agent Donald Dawkins at (313)202-3400 or the ATF hotline at 888-ATF-FIRE.