When Ukrainian immigrant Dymtro Szylack retired from the GM plant, he found himself with lots of free time and nothing to do. He decided to fill his time with art. Szylack collected items from all over and glued, stapled, and welded them all into this impressive structure referred to as Hamtramck Disneyland. Bridging two garages and easily reaching 30 feet tall in spots, this creative explosion boasts tons of pride for both the Ukraine and the United States. The locals in the Hamtramck neighborhood don’t seem to mind it a bit either.
Visiting Hamtramck Disneyland is a surreal experience. It is just nestled into a residential neighborhood amongst a bunch of normal houses. You follow a few street signs or directions from wikipedia, to find yourself pulling down an alley looking into a few back yards. About halfway down the street you can spot a towering structure of miscellaneous debris. As you pull closer the oddities just keep compounding. There are odd bits and knicknacks amongst parts that appear to have once lived in theme parks. In the gallery below you can get a bit of a feel for how marvelously odd this place is. There are paintings, sculptures, ceiling fans and much more. It really does take a little while for your eye to take it all in and hunt out what exactly you’re looking at.
After a few pictures there really isn’t much to do other than move on. It was over all a very pleasant, if short, experience! While you might think that something like this might be extremely well known to those in the area, our driver who was a local Detroit-ian had never heard of it. She thought it was pretty peculiar.
I know not everyone shares my personal taste in things, but I think the world could use a whole lot more Hamtramck Disnelyands!