Detroit Stories

Who is burning down Detroit’s world-renowned Heidelberg Project?

Students from Olympus College’s Opus gifted school in the Netherlands explore the Heidelberg Project during a class field trip. The group is in town on an exchange program with the Roeper School in Birmingham, and came out for a tour. Their teacher, Floor Schils, says, “Even in Holland we know about this story. I think [the Heidelberg Project] is something positive among all the negative news we see about Detroit.”

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is playing inside Detroit artist Tyree Guyton’s head. His iconic “Party Animal House”, part of the world-renowned Heidelberg Project lays in front of him, burned to its foundation. “It’s already speaking to me, and that’s what I hear,” he says about his thoughts on March 7, as he stood looking at the […]


Heidelberg Project’s ‘Party Animal House’ destroyed by fire

'Party Animal House' in Detroit's world-renowned Heidelberg Project burns to the ground.

An early morning fire claimed the building, known as the ‘Party Animal House’ or, ‘Doll House’, in Tyree Guyton’s world-renowned Heidelberg Project art installation in Detroit, March 7, 2014. Fire broke out in the building just before 3 a.m. according to reports and burned the house at Mt. Elliott Avenue and Elba to the foundation. […]


In Pictures: Faces, Families and stories from the Motor City

Sunday in Cass Park with friends and the forgotten worker.

Amid the largest bankruptcy filing ever for an American city, Detroiters carry on, speak up, organize and help one other. Detroit, the automotive capital of the world, once a marvel of industrialization and worker prowess, made history on July 18, 2013 when it became the largest American city in history to file for bankruptcy. The […]


Classic Americana hits the Motor City: Woodward Dream Cruise 2013

Vintage automobiles speed down Woodward Avenue.

A throwback to the 1950s and 60s when people cruised in their cars along Woodward Avenue looking for friends or a street race with other hot rods, the Woodward Dream Cruise was the brainchild of Michigan resident Nelson House. The world’s largest one-day automotive event draws about 1.5m people, 40,000 classic cars each year from […]


The People’s Potluck – Detroit

People's Potluck

People from all over the Detroit Metro area gathered for lively discussion and debate around current events, the state of the city and actions happening throughout Michigan. Thursday, July 25, 2013 In what has become a regular monthly meeting of progressives and grassroots community action groups, the People’s Potluck is open to all progressive folks, their friends […]


After 90 years, historic Detroit church prepares to close.

Makyah Jones, 9, of Detroit (left), Invy Bannasch, 10, of Detroit (center) and Brooklyn Smith, 8 of Detroit (right) lead the closing march out of St. Gregory the Great church in Detroit after a special Sunday mass and gathering of alumni from the St. Gregory the Great church in Detroit. The parish is celebrating their 90th anniversary this month but is preparing to close at the end of June after opening in 1923. Sunday, June 9, 2013.

for photo caption information, please click on the “i” in the upper right above slideshow Talking with people, I’m always taken in by their stories of life in Detroit back in the 50s-60s and the history around St. Gregory the Great church on Dexter, just off of the Lodge Freeway is precisely what I’m talking […]


Paris – Detroit: connections revealed.

Almost as if it is being slowly erased, the last bit of Detroit's signature building, the GM Renaissance Center disappears behind Greg's painting.

As part of the Detroit Design Festival 2012, Detroit Artist Greg Fadell ties two historic cities together in his four-story work of art “Paris of the West” at Willys Overland Lofts in the city’s Midtown district.   Fadell describes his concept for Paris of the West: Detroit’s connection with France is historic; I am using […]


Woman Crashes Pickup Into Soul Food Gas Station

A woman crashed a truck into the HP Soul Food Valero gas station at the corner of McNichols Rd. and Woodward Ave. in Highland Park Saturday, March 23, 2013.  Owner Hassan Beydoun says the woman crashed into the building, got out of the pickup, flipped off her high heels and ran down the middle of Woodward Ave. Mike Bahry, owner of Car Choice on Woodward Ave. next door to the gas station, heard the commotion and chased the woman down the street yelling for her to stop. The suspect complied and Beydoun caught up with her and brought her back to the shop where the police later took her into custody.  Beydoun says he and his employees were just finishing up a meeting and luckily no one was in the front part of the shop when the woman crashed through.

    A woman crashed a truck into the HP Soul Food Valero gas station at the corner of McNichols Rd. and Woodward Ave. in Highland Park Saturday, March 23, 2013. Owner Hassan Beydoun says the woman crashed into the building, got out of the pickup, flipped off her high heels and ran down the […]


Detroit Youth March Against School to Prison Pipeline

Parents and supporters taking part in the Detroit Youth Takeover rally march past Detroit's historic Fox Theater during their 1.5 mile journey through downtown to the Wayne County Jail to protest the school to prison pipeline.

A group of about 150 students, parents and supporters of Detroit Youth Takedown marched from Cass Park in downtown Detroit to the Wayne County Jail to protest the school to prison pipeline Saturday, March 23, 2013. During the 1.5 mile trek through downtown marchers chanted, “Stand up for education and say no to incarceration!” They […]


Food Not Bombs Rocks Trumbullplex to Feed Detroiters

Food Not Bombs Group Raises Money to Feed Detroiters

Kicking off a new year, the Detroit Food Not Bombs chapter held a fundraising and canned food drive Sunday March 3, 2013 to raise money for their upcoming campaign to feed Detroiters free, healthy, hot Vegan and Vegetarian meals. Held at the Trumbullplex Detroit’s sexiest anarchist collective, six bucks got goers food and entertainment featuring: Five […]


Governor Snyder Announces State Take Over of Motor City.

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder today announced that he will appoint an emergency financial manager to the city of Detroit during a meeting in the Maccabees Building on the campus of Wayne State University Friday March 1, 2013. During a town hall style meeting filled with community and business leaders, students, clergy and members of the […]


“ARBEIT MACHT FREI” Graffiti Artist Comes Forward in Facebook Post

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The mysterious author of the “ARBEIT MACHT FREI” graffiti installation at the Packard Plant in Detroit has come forward. An artist named Penny Gaff , alleging to be the author of the work issued this response at 11:03 Tuesday February, 19 in the comments of my post on Facebook of a Detroit Free Press article about the infamous […]


Among the Ruins of the Detroit Packard Plant

Exploring The Ruins of Detroit's Packard Auto Plant

An afternoon exploring the remnants of a once automotive giant. Since its closure in 1958, the Packard Automotive Plant has served as a haven for graffiti artists, urban explorers, paintballers, auto scrappers and photographers. One such artist and photographer is Detroiter J Kyle Keener. Kyle has been exploring and soaking in artistic inspiration from this place […]


First Nations ‘Idle No More’ gather in Detroit

First Nations ladies sing the water song on the banks of the Detroit River at Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan January 20, 2013, "To bring awareness of the need of community and environmental healing." The group assembled in honor and support of Chief Theresa Spence, Attawapiskat, who is in her 40th day of a hunger strike in Ottawa, vowing not to eat solid food until Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston of Canada agree to a treaty meeting with leaders of First Nations across the country. STILLSCENES/James Fassinger  (UNITED STATES)

Supporters of Idle No More held a round dance and prayers at Hart Plaza on the banks of the Detroit river January 20, 2013, “To bring awareness of the need of community and environmental healing”. The group assembled in honor and support of Chief Theresa Spence, Attawapiskat, who is in her 40th day of a […]


Detroit Area Woman Faces Jail for Vegetable Garden

Julie Bass, stands in her front yard vegetable garden in the Detroit, Mi suburb of Oak Park. Bass was ticketed and charged with a misdemeanor for violating an ordinance that city officials say prohibit vegetables from being grown in resident's front yards. The jury trial for Bass, mother of six, will be held July 26th where she faces a possible of sentence of 93 days in jail if found guilty.

This story is from July 2011. Julie Bass, of Oak Park, Michigan planted a vegetable garden in her front yard to replace the grass that once covered it back in the spring of 2011. The Bass family planted the garden after maintenance to their septic line left the area bare. Instead of putting an expensive […]


Black Friday Protest at Walmart – Dearborn, Mi

Black Friday Protest Action at Walmart Superstore in Dearborn, Michigan

A coalition of labor groups made it into the Walmart Superstore in Dearborn Michigan today as part of nationwide anti-Walmart Black Friday protests across the country.


Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects to be demolished with $6.5 million federal grant.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced this morning that the federal government has agreed to contribute $6.5 million to help tear down the historic Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, just northeast of the city's downtown. Built to provide affordable housing for the city's residents in the late 1930s and once home to famous Detroiters and Motown acts like Diana Ross and members of the Supremes, the buildings could be demolished as early as next spring. Joining Bing at the announcement on the site of the housing projects was Antonio Riley, a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Riley said the grant money is part of President Obama's Strong Cities Strong Communities program which helps local governments revitalize blighted areas of the nation's cities.

  During a press conference November 15, 2012 at the historic Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects in Detroit, the city’s mayor Dave Bing, announced  that the federal government has agreed to contribute $6.5 million to help tear down the deserted projects, just northeast of the city’s downtown. Built to provide affordable housing for the city’s residents in the late […]


Detroit Water Workers on Strike

AFSCME Local 207 union workers strike outside the main entrance to the city of Detroit's Wastewater Treatment Plant on West Jefferson Ave. Monday Oct. 1, 2012

Workers feel that the city, management and Mayor Dave Bing have sold them out in favor of privatization and a no-bid $48 million contract with consultants to cut 81% of the Department’s jobs. DETROIT – Approximately 40 union workers from the American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) Local 207 walked off their […]


Injured GM Colombia worker brings hunger strike to GM headquarters in Detroit.

Parra told reporters near GM's World Headquarters on Wednesday, “We want to return to the workforce and be retrained and have our own union in the plant. If GM insists that going back into the plant is not an option, we want enough of a financial settlement that would allow us to start new lives."

Jorge Parra, former GM worker from Colombia now on hunger strike, along with members of Witness For Peace, student unions and worker’s groups, met members of the press in Hart Plaza near General Motor’s World Headquarters Wednesday, Sept. 5th, 2012. Parra, who arrived in Detroit on Sept. 5th, is here in an attempt to restart […]


Horsepower, Burning Rubber and a Cast of Characters Hit the Motor City

The 16th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise

On August 18th, 2012 more than a million people and tens of thousands of classic cars are expected to descend on Woodward Avenue in Detroit to take part in the 17th annual Woodward Dream Cruise. Here are a selection of images from last year’s Dream Cruise. The Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit, Michigan is the […]


Protesters to General Electric: Pay Your Fair Share!

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An estimated crowd of 2,000 protesters march against General Electric in Detroit. Groups from Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Toledo and Michigan showed up in force to protest General Electric at their annual shareholder meeting Wednesday April 25th, 2012. Protesters are angry that the nation’s largest conglomerate pays no tax and in fact received tax credits last year. Activists assembled […]


Trying to Save the Detroit Day School for the Deaf

Supporters of BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) and Occupy Detroit protest outside the Detroit Day School for the Deaf against the planned closure of the school, April 5, 2010.

Organizers bring awareness to school’s possible closure No one can really put their finger on why the Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools Roy Roberts wants to shut down the Detroit Day School for the Deaf. It receives most of its funding from the federal government, with very little coming from the city and […]


Detroiters Rally for Justice & Peace

More than a thousand supporters turned out for the Justice and Peace Rally at Hart Plaza in Detroit Monday March 26, 2012 honoring Trayvon Martin.

More than 1,000 supporters turn out at Hart Plaza in support of Trayvon Martin, his family and against crime. A coalition of Detroit’s Civil Rights, labor, clergy and community leaders held “Justice & Peace Rally” Monday March 26, 2012. The rally was for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin 17,  a black teen who was […]