State to return bricks that helped fund restoration of 'World's Largest Stove'

May 1, 2013

If you bought an engraved brick to help restore the World's Largest Stove, the state of Michigan would like to give it back to you.

The state Land Bank tomorrow  will return 1200 bricks that lined a pathway to the stove at the State Fairgrounds at Cadillac Place in Detroit. The bricks were installed in 1998 as a fundraiser to help restore the stove.

The stove was initially built for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, and was later brought to Detroit. The stove was destroyed by a fire in 2011.

Kim Holman, the Land Bank's executive director, said returning the bricks is part of an effort to help people honor the state fair, which closed in 2009.

"We wanted to give people the opportunity to pick up their bricks if they wanted to keep them for themselves, and we're also giving people the opportunity, if they choose, to place the bricks on the property as part of the redevelopment," Holman said.

A group of investors, led by basketball great Magic Johnson, is redeveloping the property. Any bricks that aren't picked up will be part of a memorial honoring the fair.

The pick-up event tomorrow will be a tribute to the fair, Holman said. There will be carnival food, fair memorabilia and speakers discussing the fair's history.

-- Joseph Lichterman, Michigan Radio Newsroom