The 21 jail cells at the former Third Precinct Police Station in Detroit are currently being used as artists’ studios. The new tenant, 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios, is subleasing space for as little as $1.25 sq ft, including many amenities previous residents were denied (keyed access, wireless internet, etc.).
Now the masked marauder of international art, graffiti artist Banksy (who some believe should be incarcerated), has found a home in the former lock-up–or at least his work has. 555 Gallery was able to “rescue” an 8-ft tall mural he painted on the cinder block side of a nearby abandoned Packard plant (which was about to be demolished) and installed all 1500 lbs. of it into the new lobby. The mural features a little boy in a black hood holding a can of red paint and a brush alongside the painted words: “I remember when all this was trees.” The property owner of the Packard plant sued the gallery for removing it without permission but later settled, receiving $2,500 for the artwork (estimated at $100k).