“Detroit doesn’t need any saviors… We need entrepreneurs, artists,  do-it-yourselfers, thinkers. Detroit has always been a culture of makers, and we want to keep that culture alive”

Heidelberg Project, Detroit

Heidelberg Project Art Installation, Detroit (source)

This third and final video in the Detroit Lives series looks at the rise of the creative alternative culture taking advantage of Detroit’s opportunities.

From the urban farming movement where locals are planting vegetables in abandoned lots to former industrial buildings that have been repurposed as art studios and hackerspaces, it’s obvious that for the innovative and alternative, Detroit’s vast empty spaces are a creative wonderland. In most urban centers space on this scale is unheard of, especially at a price that creative types can afford. I just can’t help thinking of all of the things I could do with all that SPACE.

As one guy puts it in the video, “I’m twenty-four and have a nine story building at my disposal.”

Ultimately, even as they explore buildings still in ruins, the overall takeaway form this project is hope.

“Remember: Rome was sacked.. Berlin was bombed. Cities have always went down, but for some reason they come back - and it’s the people that bring them back.”

Here are some of the projects highlighted in this installation:

Russell Industrial Center
Northend Studios
Heidelberg Project Outdoor Art Installation | Heidelberg project in Atlas Obscura
OmniCorp Detroit hackerspace
Photos from our 2010 Obscura Day visit to the Heidelberg Project


Atlas Obscura is proud to present this post as part of a partnership with the excellent Palladium Boots, who encourage you to explore your street, city, and the world.