The Heidelberg Project since 1986 has been standing on the near east side of Detroit. It has survived antagonistic mayoral administrations, arson, and more — and they’re working on their next chapter. It’s also drawn people from around the world to come see it.
According to a press release, construction has begun on the well-known Numbers House. It is one of only two original Heidelberg Project structures still standing.
The renovated Numbers House will have:
- An artist in residence program
- New studio and gallery for emerging artists
- Education & event space for the neighborhood
- Youth programming
“The reinvention of the Numbers House marks the beginning of a new era for the Heidelberg Project and for the neighborhood we’ve called home for the last thirty years,” said Jenenne Whitfield, president and CEO of the Heidelberg Project. “Rebuilding this structure is the first step toward realizing our vision. We’re not just making a bricks and mortar investment by rebuilding the structure, we are creating a community center for people that will inspire a new generation of creative leaders.”
The renovations of the Numbers House are starting about a year after Heidelberg started a capital campaign. They exceeded their $100,000 goal and raised $110,000. A new roof will be finished this fall and interior demolition has already started.
It will be redesigned and a different artist than Tyree Guyton will do the installation on the outside of the building. After all, the idea of Heidelberg 3.0 is that it’s more collaborative.
The home that’s now the Number House belonged to Thelma Woods. According to information from Heidelberg, Woods and her family asked Guyton to paint numbers on the house to help teach her young children to count in the 1990s. Upon her passing, she told Guyton that she wanted her house to remain a part of the Heidelberg Project forever.
“This is only the beginning of Heidlelberg 3.0,” said Whitfield in a release. “This can be a blueprint for how Detroit neighborhoods can be rebuilt with long-term residents and new residents working together to be part of something bigger. Together we are going to reimagine this community, lift it up economically and preserve the legacy of what Tyree built over the last 31 years.”