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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Big Stove Is No More

This is what it takes to get me off my butt and do another bit for this poor old blog after eight silent months:

The Big Stove in its original location (after the World's Fair),
in the forecourt of the great Michigan Stove plant.

Historic stove a 'total loss'

Official says lightning destroyed 15-ton icon at State Fairgrounds

Steve Pardo/ The Detroit News

Detroit — A historic stove, billed as the world's largest, is history following Saturday's lightning strike and fire at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds.
"I've been told today it's a total loss, that the fire just wiped it out," Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Technology Management and Budget, said Monday. "I don't know if it would even be possible to rebuild it. That's a bummer."

The 15-ton stove was painted to look like metal but it was made of wood and stood more than two stories high. It was built off a Garland model kitchen range in 1893 by the Michigan Stove Co. and stood proudly among regular stoves at the World's Fair in Chicago that year.

For years it sat on Belle Isle and was restored in 1998 and moved to the State Fairgrounds at Woodward and Eight Mile.

It remained at the 164-acre site, among dozens of structures. Falling attendance, aging infrastructure and state budget woes closed down the fair for good in 2009.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget is responsible for the security of the property.

"What a shame to keep such an important piece of Detroit's history — and art, for that matter — hidden away," said Barbara Winckler, a former Detroiter who moved to Los Angeles in 1994.

The stove had special meaning for her and her family. Winckler said her great-grandfather, Charles C. Goddeeris, helped build the stove.
"It just breaks my heart," she said. "My mother would always tell us that Grandpa Chuck built that stove, whenever we would drive by it on Jefferson and the Belle Isle Bridge.

"I was so sad to see it moved to the State Fairgrounds, and then to find out that the fairgrounds have been closed to the public for years is just sad."
Security guards saw the stove get struck by lightning during a storm Saturday, Weiss said.

Detroit fire officials confirmed they were called out to the site around 8 p.m. Saturday.

The state has been looking to find another use for the property for the past two years, Weiss said.

There's one picture with that article -- several others with

The Big Stove in its final resting place