Detroit House Goes from Arson to Art

Detroit, Michigan, the Motor City, has struggled with arson fires for years, most notably on Devil's Night. Things have gotten better in recent years. There's also development and residents here. But vacant and burned-out buildings are still a problem --- and in the case of the Imagination Station, something to reclaim.The video above describes a project by artist Catie Newell, who worked with volunteers for about a month to salvage planks from an arson-charred home in Detroit. Hundreds of those burned planks were formed into a new space.

It's strangely beautiful, with wood sliced and displayed to show the "unburnt moment." Of course, Detroit has too much material for art projects like this. But this project seems to make a statement that fire and vandalism won't smother the hopes of folks who live and work in the city.

The Imagination Station is a Detroit-based nonprofit working to clean up two blighted structures in the 2200 block of 14th Street, which face the ruins of the iconic Michigan Central Station in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood.

The charred art house was created from the shell of a burned-out house, and will be used as a public art gallery when it's complete. A house next door will be renovated into a community media center using "sustainable green practices," according to the nonprofit.

"Through this process, the Imagination Station aims to create a replicable model of redevelopment fueled by traditional partnerships and grant practices, as well as new social media techniques for fund-raising, storytelling, and volunteerism."

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