During my time here I have explored the surrounding neighborhood extensively and I would estimate that nearly 1 in every 4 homes is either in a state of disrepair or completely abandoned. And although many have chosen to view these conditions with apathy, my point of view is one of optimism for the future driven by a sense of nostalgia for this neighborhood’s past beauty. Amidst the soaring oaks that line these spacious blocks remains a modern and organic grid filled with possibilities that perhaps the fresh eyes of a new generation will bring to fruition. The Ice House project seeks to demonstrate that in much the same way — as building materials are reclaimed from the many abandoned houses in Detroit, so to can the affected neighborhoods themselves be repurposed through the creativity, spirit, and sense of community clearly demonstrated by the residents themselves.
The two artists plan to bring in lights on Friday night when they publicly unveil the installation. Funding for the project came from a crowd-sourced effort on Kickstarter, where 53 backers contributed a total of $11,000 that the artists had set as their goal. The site explains that the project is designed to “uphold concepts of neighborhood integrity, material reuse, public art, social empowerment, and urban farming.”
The installation is only part of the continuing project. As the Telegraph in the United Kingdom notes, the artists plan to return in the spring to disassemble the house, to reuse the building materials. They also used part of the money raised to allow a woman to secure a home by paying the taxes on a foreclosure.