We’ve seen a lot of stories about Detroit and how buildings are being left abandoned, simply waiting for Mother Nature to take over. In Detroit, they are even paying people to move to their city or giving them free houses with the stipulation and goal of getting these once thriving neighborhoods turned around into something more than what they are today. One of the many cool things about Detroit is that there are a ton of amazing houses with beautiful architecture, just waiting for a new owner. When florist, Lisa Waud, bought a house in Detroit for just $500, everyone thought she was crazy. But once they saw what she had in mind, they can’t help but talk about her new and upcoming project.
Lisa Waud purchased this duplex for just $500. As you can see, it’s in pretty terrible shape, but for $500, it was a steal.
When she purchased the structure, the interior was an absolute disaster with garbage piling up in every room and every corner of the house. Most people would have turned around, never to return.
Once she got the keys to the house and managed to clean out the garbage, Lisa spent the next 48 hours inside the house. She brought in over 4,000 flowers and got to work.
“My first idea was to build a small shed from a hardware store kit and display it at a local contemporary museum, but that quickly felt that it wouldn’t have the ‘breathtaking’ factor I craved,” said Lisa about the beginning of this project.
Lisa said, “When you live in Detroit, it’s hard to not notice an abundance of abandoned houses, and one day, I began looking at them as a resource, and it wasn’t too much longer before I was at a city auction with my hand up.”
“It was certainly at that moment when sh*t got real for the project. I was suddenly in possession of my canvas for an installation I had been dreaming of for years. As I spent time cleaning up the properties, it became much more than a floral art project though,” continued Lisa.
Lisa said, “It’s a story in three parts: a house filled with flowers for one fall weekend, a deconstruction project partnering with a local company called Reclaim Detroit to reuse up to 75% of the materials in the structures, and the launching of an urban flower farm for my floral design company, pot & box.
“I have met florists I’ve always looked up to, neighbors I never would have known, and people passionate about getting involved with the project. It’s been amazing,” Lisa said of the project.
Lisa started off small, only filling up one side of the house with 4,000 flowers.
In October 2015, she plans on filling up the other side of the house with over 100,000 flowers!
The project was inspired by Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s wrapped Pont Neuf bridge in Paris.
But once she got started, the project started to take on a mind of its own. There became an emphasis on sustainability, along with a long-term plan for the properties that Lisa had purchased and was using for the project.
Once her art show is over, the displays will be dismantled, recycled, and the space will be used to grow many different types of flowers.
Lisa said, “The hope that this deconstruction and land re-purposing will inspire others to see abandoned structures as platforms for art and business, and to use them in an environmentally responsible way.”
The Flower House will hold an open house reception in October where the public can come in and see what is being done inside this once abandoned house in Detroit.
More info: Flower House
What an amazing way to reclaim old and abandoned property, while turning it into something much better than what it was before she bought it. I am still in awe that she was able to purchase the home for just $500.