By Charles Sercombe
You can continue to go to “Disneyland” here in Hamtramck without actually leaving the city for many years to come.
A group of investors have purchased the two houses on Klinger that have long been the home of the folk art creation called “Hamtramck Disneyland.”
The massive collection of whirligigs, knick knacks and other whimsical items, are spread out on the top of two neighboring houses once owned by the creator of the piece, Dmytro Szylak.
Szylak died last year at the age of 92, but his family did not wish to continue owning the properties.
There was concern among artists and residents that the piece would be dismantled and removed, or worse, just rot away.
But there is still a ways to go to fully secure the property.
Hatch, a Hamtramck art collective, will have to repay the investors. To do so, the group will start up an online fundraiser. That will be no small achievement. The purchase price for the houses was $100,000.
Chris Schneider, of Hatch, said the purchase was something that took a few months to come together. He said the immediate plan is to “restore the installation and also create a new opportunity.”
That includes a novel way to bring in funding in an ongoing basis.
“With the four apartment units, we would like to rent three of them to people who appreciate the artwork, and then use the final unit to invite artists from all over the world who specialize in installations to live and work,” Schneider said. “Their work would also be open to the public to view.”
Hatch is a non-profit organization and is no stranger to rehabbing properties. The art collective’s home is the former Hamtramck police station across from city hall. That building had been left empty and unused for several years and needed a massive amount of work to bring it back to life.
Anyone who would like to help with the new project can email Schneider at email@example.com.