We’ve heard a lot of stories about Detroit and how abandoned buildings are being left to be taken over by nature. In Detroit, they are even paying people to move there or giving them free houses. The goal is to turn these once-bustling neighborhoods into something better than what they are now. One of the cool things about Detroit is that there are a lot of amazing houses with beautiful architecture just waiting for a new owner. Everyone thought Lisa Waud was crazy when she bought a house in Detroit for only $500. But after seeing what she had in mind, they can’t stop talking about her new project.
Lisa Waud bought this two-family home for only $500. As you can see, it’s in pretty bad shape, but for $500, it was a steal.
When she bought the building, the inside was a complete mess. There was trash in every room and in every corner. Most people would have gone back the way they came and never come back.
Lisa stayed in the house for the next 48 hours after she got the keys and cleaned out the trash. She brought in more than 4,000 flowers, and then she went to work.
Lisa said, “At first, I thought I would build a small shed from a kit from a hardware store and show it at a local contemporary museum, but I quickly realized that it wouldn’t be as “breathtaking” as I wanted.”
Lisa said, “If you live in Detroit, you can’t help but notice all the empty houses. One day, I started seeing them as a resource, and it wasn’t long before I was at a city auction with my hand up.“
“At that point, the project really started to take shape. I got my canvas for an installation I had been dreaming about for years all of a sudden. As I cleaned up the properties, though, it became much more than a floral art project,” Lisa said.
Lisa said, “It’s a story with three parts: a house full of flowers for one fall weekend, a deconstruction project with a local company called Reclaim Detroit to reuse up to 75% of the materials in the buildings, and the start of an urban flower farm for my floral design company, pot & box.”
“I’ve met florists I’ve always admired, neighbors I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and people who are really excited about helping with the project. “The project has been great,” said Lisa.
Lisa started out small by only putting 4,000 flowers on one side of the house.
In October 2015, she wants to have more than 100,000 flowers on the other side of the house.
The wrapped Pont Neuf bridge in Paris by Christo and Jeanne-Claude gave the idea for the project.
But once she started working on it, the project took on a life of its own. Sustainability became more important, and Lisa made a long-term plan for the properties she bought and used for the project.
After her art show is over, the displays will be taken down and recycled, and the space will be used to grow many different kinds of flowers.
Lisa said, “I hope that this deconstruction and re-use of the land will inspire other people to see abandoned buildings as places for art and business, and to use them in a way that is good for the environment.”
In October, there will be an open house at the Flower House. People will be able to come in and see what is being done inside this Detroit house that was once empty.
Find out more: Flower House
What a great way to bring back to life old abandoned property and make it much better than it was before she bought it. I still can’t believe that she bought the house for only $500.