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Mysterious demolition of state representative’s home baffles everyone

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A home in Detroit owned by former State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo was demolished—and no one knows why

An abandoned, windowless home with white wood siding. A yellow excavator sits next to it.
Demolition equipment sits outside a vacant house in Detroit.

We’ve been following one of the stranger stories to come out of Detroit, a city that’s got its fair share of them.

On September 30, the Detroit Free Press reported that a home in Detroit owned by former State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo had been demolished. What’s remarkable is that no one knows why it was taken down or who did it. Gay-Dagnogo didn’t want it demolished and the city denied any responsibility.

”There also was no permit pulled by any private party for demolition at this address,” Detroit Building Authority Director Tyrone Clifton told the Free Press. “At this time, we are actively investigating to see if we can help determine who was responsible.”

The story was so bizarre that even national publications like the Washington Post picked it up.

Gay-Dagnogo bought the house at 14567 Minock Street in Brightmoor last year through her nonprofit Coalition to Integrate Technology and Education. She was going to renovate the home and turn it into affordable housing.

Adamo Group demolished the home next door after it caught fire. Gay-Dagnonogo’s house also sustained damage from that fire and had been boarded up.

While it denied demolishing Gay-Dagnogo’s house, the Free Press did add that, “Adamo, which is one of the largest contractors in the city’s demolition program, previously faced suspension for tearing down the wrong home in May 2018.”

Some more clues have emerged. On October 4, debris from Gay-Dagnogo’s house was found at the Woodland Meadows landfill in Wayne, the Detroit Free Press reported. The managers of the landfill know who hauled the materials the site, but declined to release the name publicly. They are, however, cooperating with law enforcement.

We’ll continue to follow this story as it develops.