Hamtramck Disneyland

Hello, all!

The east side of Michigan, namely Detroit, has been struggling for quite a few years now. Some of the locals are fighting to keep spirits alive through art. This post is one of three which will feature art projects and efforts in or around Detroit that are worth stopping for.

For years, Hamtramck, Michigan’s claim to fame was it being cited as Walt Waldowski the dentist’s hometown in the original novel M*A*S*H; then Ukranian Dmytro Szylak came to town and changed that.

After retirement, Szylak wanted a hobby, so he started building a large piece of artwork in his backyard out of various objects (old, new, blue… if it was borrowed, they never got it back!). This art grew larger and larger over the years until it became the mammoth sculpture that it is today, towering over the back fence and eventually well over the two garages at the base. This art is known as HAMTRAMCK DISNEYLAND- 12087 Klinger St., Hamtramck, MI.

… hah, Hamtramck is mentioned in the novel M*A*S*H and now its second source of notoriety is located on Klinger St.! Well, anyway…

Unfortunately, Szylak died in 2015 at the young age of 92. Much debate sparked over what would happen to his Disneyland. People are fighting to keep the art, but the two lots are currently up for sale. Its fate is currently in limbo, depending on whoever purchases the property.

This neighborhood is culturally diverse, but like much of the Detroit area it is in need of some work. Though it did not seem particularly dangerous, I donned my New Yorker and headed out.

If you take a stroll down Klinger, you may see this.

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The art, however, is really in the backyard. I parked my car on Commor between Klinger and Sobieski, then got out and walked down the alley behind the houses (the alley going towards Carpenter).

It was pretty easy to spot from the end of the alley.

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Sure enough.

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It’s apparently more magnificent from inside the yard, especially when it’s plugged in. Yes, it seems things move and light up. Not sure what. Probably everything.

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It is indeed an impressive piece of work and it would be a shame if the new owners tore it down. Granted, if they choose that, they certainly have their work cut out for them.

So… if YOU would like to be the one to keep this artwork preserved, here is the necessary information.

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Until next time, dahlings…

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