1. The Heidelberg Project
Dismayed by the poverty, drugs and crime around him, Tyree Guyton made a statement: turning the abandoned houses and lots in his east-side Detroit neighbourhood into guerilla-art installations. Twenty-four years later, what’s now known as the Heidelberg Project, is one of Detroit’s biggest tourist draws.
This open-air art environment includes houses, street and sidewalk surfaces and lots within a roughly two-block radius. Giant polka-dots cover one house. Another house is painted in “lucky lotto numbers,” while others are completely bedecked in stuffed animals, toys, signage, tools, mannequins, car and bicycle parts, home appliance parts, and other found materials, some slowly disintegrating in the elements. The neighbourhood welcomes visitors; however, it remains one of the poorest zip codes in the U.S. If you visit, donations are always appreciated!