Arsonists target Heidelberg Project's 'House of Soul'

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The iconic Heidelberg Project in Detroit has suffered yet another loss. This time, the "House of Soul" was the target.

On the Heidelberg Project's Facebook page , the latest post reports that the home - and work of art - was destroyed in yet another act of arson.

The Facebook post reads:

BREAKING: Our beloved House of Soul has been burned to the ground in yet another act of arson.
More soon.

Back in May, another Heidelberg Project home was targeted by arsonists and was also destroyed.

The Heidelberg Project is something artist Tyree Guyton has worked on for almost three decades.

His work involves in part turning Detroit's empty houses into artwork. He has talked about how Detroit is a city that many have given up on, and his goal is to bring life and beauty to things that appear dead. 

He has seen success. His project is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. 

As Guyton sifted through the rubble Tuesday morning, he found more than a glimmer of hope.

On top of charred debris, symbolically sat a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Around 4:30 am Tuesday the house, along Elba on Detroit's east side was fully engulfed in flames.

The House of Soul is one of seven houses which make up the Heidelberg Project.  Guyton started the project 27 years ago hoping to bring new life to vacant homes in the area.

According to members of the project, this year five of the houses have had smaller fires. The House of Soul is the second to be burned to the ground.

Another one was destroyed in October.

Several people from the Heidelberg project told 7 Action News they suspect arson.

They are urging police and firefighters to investigate the fires thoroughly to find out who is behind them so Guyton's art live on.

Guyton believes like a phoenix, his art will rise from the ashes.

He plans to make more art on the burned down property on Elba.  He told 7 Action News that he wants to send a message to the alleged arsonist that he will not stop adding beauty and art to the neighborhood.

Although the fire is suspected to be arson, firefighters are not saying whether it was the work of an arsonist. 

The blaze is under investigation.

Meanwhile, Guyton plans to rebuild as soon as possible.

 
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