Original Construction Date
2000 AIA Michigan
Society of Detroit
1998 Michigan Historic Preservation Network
State Register Listed
In the late 1800s—before it was the Motor City—Detroit was the stove making capital of the United States. The Michigan Stove was built for the Michigan Stove Company to symbolize this important status at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
Over the next 80 years the two-story wooden stove was dismantled and moved four times toprominent locations in Detroit, most recently at the entrance to the Michigan State Fairgrounds. In the mid 1970s its deteriorating condition prompted dismantling and storage pending eventual restoration. In 1998 the state celebrated its 150th state fair—the nation’s oldest—and it seemed a timely event at which to rededicate the stove and HopkinsBurns, as Architects Four, was commissioned to accomplish this challenging task.
The project involved restoring and reconstructing the stove, using as much of the existing material as feasible and recreating what could not be saved. Inventorying, repairing/recreating, and reassembling the hundreds of carved wood parts to meet the late summer schedule was a major challenge.
To meet the challenge, the firm established a partnership with a construction manager, allowing design and construction to be carried out concurrently.