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Photo via Hamtramck Disneyland Patronicity

If you’re near 12087 Klinger Street in Hamtramck, you’ll be met with one of the most colorful, unique, and unforgettable sites in Metro Detroit, Hamtramck Disneyland. This folk art installation was created by Dmytro Szylak, a Ukrainian immigrant to the area. Szylak spent 30 years working on building the assemblage sculpture on the two garages on his properties.

In May 2015, Szylak passed away, and Hamtramck Disneyland was in danger of being torn down. Purchased by Hatch Art, a local non-profit, the property is now awaiting renovation, so it can better serve the community.

Hamtramck’s Disneyland is a major tourist draw for Hamtramck, and Hatch Art plans to help the installation make an even bigger impact in the community. But they need your support.

Dmytro Szylak, photo via Hamtramck Disneyland
Dmytro Szylak, photo via Hamtramck Disneyland

Check out Hamtramck Disneyland’s Patronicity page to support Hatch Art in their quest to renovate this unique gem. Hatch Art has until August 20 to reach its fundraising goal of $50,000.

If the organization is able to meet its goal, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) have agreed to match the donation. That means that Hatch Art will receive a grand total of $100,000 from donations and matched funds.

Plans for Hamtramck Disneyland’s new uses include creating an artist residency program and a public art gallery. The artists-in-residence would visit local public schools and colleges to encourage students to explore art.

To realize its full potential, the art installation will need some serious repairs done as well as some upgrades.

  • New roofs on the garages to support the artwork
  • Clean up and maintain properties for public access and residential use
  • Reconstruct structural elements of the artwork
  • Install security cameras and wireless networks
  • Install public safety lighting
  • Establish and operate an artists’ residency program

Sadly, the weather hasn’t been kind to the outdoor sculpture, and much of it needs immediate attention and restoration. The lights, motion, and sound components the Szylak originally installed need to be re-built and rewired for safe outdoor operation.

Hamtramck’s Disneyland will remain open to the public and visible from the alleyway under Hatch Art’s ownership, but it organizers are saying it must be repaired and restored before it can receive visitors to the property.

Help preserve a unique art gem in Metro Detroit, and support Hatch Art today.