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Fire destroys another building at the Heidelberg Project

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The “You” building caught fire Monday morning; a suspect is already in custody

A black man in a white t-shirt stands in the center of a burned building, surrounded by charred black wood and brick.
Tyree Guyton, creator of the Heidelberg Project, walks through the burned remains of the Obstruction of Justice House in 2013.

A fire broke out early Monday morning at the Heidelberg Project’s “You” building. Crews were able to put out the blaze, but not before it ripped through the building’s roof and busted out windows.

The damage appears to be extensive. The roof collapsed and windows were destroyed by the fire that ripped through the interior. Deputy Fire Commissioner David Fornell said the building—a brick duplex with “you” painted many times on the exterior—would have to be demolished. Though Dan Lijana, a spokesperson for the Heidelberg Project, told the Detroit News that it was “too early to speculate” about its fate.

Detroit police have already detained a woman suspected of starting the fire.

The Heidelberg Project faced a series of 12 fires over the course of two years starting in 2013. No one was ever arrested in connection with those suspected arsons.

In 2016, creator Tyree Guyton talked about dismantling the public art installation, but in the last year has taken steps to stay in the area. The project’s nonprofit arm bought a house in the neighborhood for its new headquarters and has been trying to acquire other properties from the Detroit Land Bank.