UPDATE: Michigan Land Bank to reconnect memorial bricks from old fairgrounds to their donors

Michigan Land Bank to hold May 2nd event

DETROIT (WXYZ) - After our Call For Action story aired about Emmett Hynes receiving his brick thanks to our help, the Michigan Land Bank announced a plan to reconnect people to the bricks they donated years ago.

If you ever saw the "World's Largest Stove" at the state fairgrounds, you probably remember the memorial bricks that supported it.

A couple of years ago after the fair shut down, the replica stove burned. Once the area was targeted for redevelopment, the bricks were removed.

But as we reported a couple of weeks ago, WXYZ's "Call For Action" team helped a Livonia man get his brick back.


There's a plan underway to return more bricks to their owners.

Emmett Hynes first told us in March about his quest to find a brick bearing the names of some beloved brothers.

He donated the brick years ago when

The replica of the "World's Largest Stove" was moved to the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

Three weeks after he asked our "Call For Action" team to help, he received some good news.

"When I got the call that they had the brick, it was almost like an impossible thing, you know. They have thousands of bricks there," said Hynes with a smile. "How did they find mine?!"

Emmett received the brick a few days later in the mail from the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority.  Staffers sent him the brick after we reached out to them.

Kim Homan is the Michigan Land Bank's Executive Director.

She proudly displays a watercolor of the old stove at her desk.

Several of her staff members are cataloguing the bricks for other donors who'd like them back.

After our story aired about Emmett's brick, Homan told us that the Michigan Land Bank received a large number of phone calls and emails from people asking about memorial bricks.

"We're saving everybody's information and matching it up to this large spreadsheet of 1200 bricks," Homan said.

The bricks are being stored in the basement of Cadillac Place.  They are stacked on pallets organized by number.


If one of the bricks is yours, you can contact the Michigan Land Bank to reserve it by calling (517) 335-8212 or emailing the staff at landbank@michigan.gov

The Michigan Land Bank will be giving bricks back to their owners on Thursday, May 2nd.

The event will be in the East Showroom at Cadillac Place from 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Cadillac Place is in Detroit's New Center area at 3022 W. Grand Boulevard.

Bricks that are not reclaimed will be used to make a new memorial that will most likely be on the old fairgrounds property when it is redeveloped.

"[The goal is] for people to know that while the fair itself isn't there anymore that the memories are alive," explained Homan.


If you have a consumer problem or question, you can reach a "Call For Action" team member on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

The number to call is (248)827-3362.  You may also submit a complaint form online.

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