An abandoned home on Detroit’s east side

Here at B[log]KSK, we plan to spend some time discussing the preservation of items that have passed their original lifespan, with the intention of finding innovative uses for these things rather than relegating them to the trash heap.  While we originally envisioned said items to be small, everyday objects, it seemed like it’d be fun to also explore something a little more grandiose.

Although I live in New York now, I was born and raised in Metro Detroit, and will always love, and identify with, that city.  This makes it that much harder to watch the decline of the once great city; for example, failing industry has lead to rampant foreclosure, leaving over 44,000 abandoned homes in Detroit – an unavoidable presence in the urban landscape.

In January 2010, Ice House Detroit went beyond the metaphorical covering up of these houses, to literally covering one up – with layer after layer of ice.  Much like the Object Orange campaign from a few years ago, the Ice House looks to force attention on these empty homes in an attempt to effect change, fighting against a natural urge to pretend they don’t exist.  Repurposing these abandoned homes into full-scale art installations offers a rare touch of beauty, and perhaps even hope, in a city often lacking both of these things.

The Ice House, post-intervention

A close up of the porch

Obviously, this is just a temporary endeavor – the Ice House will soon be dismantled, the materials salvaged and reused when possible.  43,999 houses to go…

Note: came across the Ice House via this article from; all images courtesy of Ice House Detroit