Heidelberg Project Burns; 'Person Of Interest' Arrested

A Detroit landmark

WWJ News
September 23, 2019 - 11:56 am

(WWJ) A woman police are calling a "person of interest" is in custody after its believed someone set fire to the famous Heidelberg Project in Detroit.

Flames were seen, Monday morning, shooting from a house that's part of the whimsical art installation, on the corner of Heidelberg and Mount Elliott streets. 

At around 9:30 a.m., WWJ's Charlie Langton was on the scene as a woman was handcuffed and taken into custody by Detroit police. 

Police told reporters the woman, a neighbor, was arrested on an outstanding warrant and is considered a person of interest in the fire at this time. 

The blaze is being investigated as suspected arson, police said. While the fire is out, the damage to what's called the "You" building appears to be extensive. 

The Heidelberg Project was started in 1986 by Detroit artist Tyree Guyton as a place where vacant homes, sheds and more are bedazzled with murals, graffiti, found items, and more to create a colorful bohemia. The facility has an artist in residence program and offers art instruction at Detroit public schools.

Drawing visitors from around the world, it bills itself as an outdoor art environment meant to improve the community.

This is not the first time the installation has been set ablaze, with a series of arson fires back in 2013-14 devastating the project's Penny House, War House, Party Animal House, and House of Soul.