Hamtramck ‘Disneyland’ future uncertain after artist’s death

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — A retired autoworker spent two decades building his backyard folk art display of brightly painted ceiling fans, rocking horses and plastic Santas that he called “Hamtramck’s Disneyland.”

But since Dmytro Szylak’s (shuh-LAHKZ) death this year at age 92, the lights are dimmed and sounds quieted around the whimsical array behind the two homes he owned in the small city surrounded by Detroit.

Visitors came from nearby and from Germany, Italy or possibly further.

Elected officials and art leaders in Hamtramck would prefer to have the installation preserved where it is. But the future of Szylak’s colorful canvas hinges on a probate court battle between his estranged adult daughters and a friend named in his will.

A pretrial hearing about who has rights to the property is set for Sept. 16.