Artists Draw Attention to Detroit's Housing Crisis

Detroit ice houseThough typically in the headlines for its crime rate, its astonishing unemployment, or any number of other depressing stats, not all the news out of Detroit these days is bad.

The same pillowy-soft real estate market that makes the Motor City a renter's dream, has opened the door for aspiring artists to turn some of the city's bleakest empty houses into works of art.

Take the Detroit Ice House. A group of artists recently spent weeks hosing down the abandoned house on Detroit's east side until the entire structure was encased in layers of ice and dripping with icicles. Their point was to draw attention to the area's housing crisis, but they've also provided residents with a stunning work of art to enjoy until the Spring thaw.

In a more conceptual project, a web designer is selling space on a Detroit lot to investors who pay $1 per square inch. He claims to have sold 10,000 "plots" so far (about 70 square feet), and encourages his property owners to get creative with their small spaces. Maybe time to raid your Monopoly set for some tiny houses?

All credit goes to the enterprising artists, and the Detroit community who supports their creative efforts; but it does seem possible that Time Inc.'s bid to attract the "creative class" to the area seems to be paying off small dividends already.
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