Heidelberg Project announces security plan after fire

2 houses in outdoor art project have been destroyed by fires this year

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor

DETROIT - Security cameras and other measures are planned after another house that makes up the internationally known Heidelberg Project outdoor art installation in Detroit burned.

The building known as the "House of Soul" was destroyed Tuesday morning. The fire at the house, which had been covered with old vinyl albums, is being investigated as suspicious.

Read: Fire destroys 'House of Soul' at Heidelberg Project

Slideshow: Heidelberg Project's 'House of Soul' burns

A statement from Heidelberg Project officials announced the planned measures, which could include additional lighting.

Last month, a fire burned the Heidelberg Project's Obstruction of Justice House for a second time.

Read: Heidelberg project house catches fire

Also known as the O.J. House, it dated back to 1995 as a piece of art. The house also had been damaged during a May fire.

Tyree Guyton, creator of the Heidelberg Project, transformed his decaying, crime-ridden neighborhood into an interactive sculpture park.

Full statement from the Heidelberg Project:

Dear Friends,

Words almost escape me as I write on behalf of Tyree Guyton and the Heidelberg Project family to address yet a 5th fire on Heidelberg Street that completely consumed the House of Soul.  Yes, we are devastated! 

As we struggle to maintain a sense of calm and rational thinking, we first want to say that we are grateful that none of our residents have been affected by these senseless acts of violence. However, we are now deeply concerned for their safety and welfare. This being the case, we are working on three concrete measures:

1. We have enlisted a car to patrol the project starting tonight

2. We are working on our own improved lighting of the area

3. We hope to strategically place security cameras throughout the project

No, we won't give up or give in. We will continue to positively impact our community through art. When I stop and reflect on what 2013 has brought with these series of fires, I am convinced that we are on to something very powerful. If this were not the case, negativity would not rear its ugly head. However, we were not stopped by bulldozers and we will not be stopped by acts of arson. Instead we WILL become smarter, stronger and even greater. Our history after 27 years demonstrates this! 

We ask that you continue to stand with us and know that what is within us is greater than what is out there. We cannot do this alone and are reaching out to our supporters in Detroit and around the world to help us secure and strengthen the Heidelberg Project, a legacy in the making for sure!  

Thank you for your continued support. Onwards & upwards! 

Jenenne Whitfield 

Executive Director, The Heidelberg Project

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