Early Friday morning, Tyree Guyton learned that the Obstruction of Justice (OJ) House had been set on fire. An integral part of the Heidelberg Project (HP) art environment, the symbolically significant OJ House stood centrally in the project and was the oldest house installation in existence since the last demolition in 1999.

Though portions of the house are still standing, the structure is unsalvageable.

Various pieces of art work and tools were lost, but spirits are high.

“What I am in awe of is Tyree’s strength, resilience and positive attitude,” says Executive Director Jenenne Whitfield. “He’s expressed that this will only take us to a higher level, and contributes to the question, ‘What is art today?’”

Official reports confirm that the fire was deliberately set, though the sentiment will not settle in.

Onward & upward, the Heidelberg Project is humbled by the outpouring of love, support, well wishes, and shared memories from Heidelberg family members across the world. 

We are honored by the obvious care the Detroit Fire Department took in preserving so many of the surrounding art installations, including the prominent front façade of the OJ house itself. In the wake of the fire, Tyree has asked that the structure itself remain untouched as he meditates, not on the loss of the house, but on the opportunity for new growth and creation.

We are currently assessing the damage and are prepared to move forward. Details on a clean-up effort are forth coming and will be posted to www.heidelberg.org, as well as our facebook and twitter pages.