project leader
Gabrielle K
999 King St
(North End)
latest update rss
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the project

As a group of neighbors we have been protecting and maintaining 999 King, an angel house, ever since our neighbor Dorothy Cohen passed away in the home peacefully from old age surrounded by her family. Ms. Dorothy spent her 90+ years keeping an eye on the block and is a large part of the reason our street, King Street between Cameron and Oakland is so peaceful. 

After her passing the home fell into foreclosure and was passed from bank to bank, vacant all the while, and we on the block took the role of keeping the house in order and protected. By the following year the home landed in speculator hands and was sold from one nameless body to another. 

In the past two years, we have kept stewardship of the home through these absentee owners by transforming the home into an informal artist residency for the world renowned artist Onyx Ashanti, who has been a keystone of the Detroit and North End Community for years. Onyx was willing to center his artistic practices in the home and by doing so protect it from scrapper, vandals, and other would-be squatters or arsonists. He also brought his 3-D printing equipment

Just recently Onyx was evicted from the home when he went abroad to speak at a conference in Germany. Now, for the first time since Ms. Dorothy passed away nearly half a decade ago, the home is listed for sale for around $11,000 with closing fees included. We as a coalition of neighbors on King street along with our support network of artists are hoping to purchase the home and maintain our stewardship in Ms. Dorothy’s memory. We would return the house to it’s use prior to Onyx’s eviction as an affordable artist residency focusing on Detroit artists of color.

We are partnering with our neighborhood non-profit the North End Neighborhood Patrol in order to start our crowdfunding campaign as we have lined up enough donors and supporters to make the purchase by the end of the month before anyone else can put in a competing offer provided we can receive a match from ioby. It is our intention to create our own non-profit so that we can qualify for artists residency grants and offer the home as a free residency for Detroit artist of color.

the steps

  1. Put fundraiser up
  2. Acquire home, reinstall heating and hot water system
  3. Get home occupied by partnering artists as determined by the co-owner residents of King St. 
  4. Reinstall 3d printing and other art-tech gear that was cleared out by prior owner speculator.

why we're doing it

We believe that being able to secure the home will build confidence in the strength of our unity and what's possible when you organize on the block. It will affirm that we, a community of neighbors, still have some say in what happens to our neighborhoods.  Our work is to consistently inspire transformation of space in the environment we call home whenever we can we work to reclaim space for the purpose of long term affordable homes where people can live and create.


Disbursed Budget:

-Replace siding to keep out possibility of water damage
-repair windows (thankfully only two)
-repair plaster damage and repaint
-install ductwork for functional hearing
-install appliances for kitchen and bath
- repair ductwork for furnace to get the heat on
- repair pier under main beam in rear crawlspace to prevent further sinking
of home
-Rebuild rear porch and make a functional fence for around the backyard

TOTAL RAISED = $17,282.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $518.46

Original Budget:

10k for purchase of home

1k for closing cost 

ioby Platform Fee     $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)    $341
TOTAL TO RAISE =    $11,376


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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