Dismantling of Heidelberg Project coming, announcement expected Tuesday

- It draws tens of thousands of visitors to Detroit each year  but it appears the Heidelberg Project is coming to an end.

Over the years it has survived several fires and efforts by the city to shut it down. FOX 2 went to the Heidelberg Monday. It was amazing to see the people from all over the country coming to visit, especially now that they have heard it may no longer exist.

Creator Tyree Guyton is not yet ready to talk to the media about the dismantling of Detroit's Heidelberg Project, but he stops to speak to the curious visitors, who have come from all over to see the iconic art pieces in person.

Warren Kim and his 12 -year-old son are in town from Las Vegas.

"It's a big draw obviously if I have seen it from Vegas and people are coming to look," Kim said.

FOX 2: "And now you get one last look."

"Interesting, I'm sorry to hear it is going down," he said.

But the meaning of this 30 year creation runs deeper for people like Leammond Gibson, who spent 23-years in prison.

"(I wanted to) go see what Tyree is up to," Gibson said. "(Someone said) 'He may be able to help you.' Sure enough I came up here and it was like glory."

Gibson has worked for Guyton since he was released and credits his work on Heidelberg Street for getting his life back on track.

"It gave me sense of freedom after my incarceration and I didn't want to go back to anything like that," he said. "I knew if I stick and stay with an honest guy like this guy, I would be alright."

For Otela Bell - who runs the Yellow guestbook house...the project has become her livelihood.

"I've got a whole lot of mixed emotions," she said. "I didn't like it. I'm not a part of it, but I live in the midst of it and I'm taking advantage of it."

But for how much longer is unclear and it is why people like Iman Saleh, who lived in Detroit all her life, and felt it was time to check it out.

"I thought it was going to be here forever we had to come check it out before it all went away," Saleh said. "I guess you are not grateful for something until it goes away."

This project has been through a lot over the years - including several arson fires which began in 2013.

While Guyton wouldn't provide any details about the dismantling - he did say it would get better and better.

What that means  is not known. Guyton said we could expect an announcement Tuesday. 
 

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