Project Description

The Michigan State fair grounds was home of the Michigan Sate Fair from 1905 until 2009. The Michigan State Fair was first established in 1905 on a 164-acre site, at the address of 1120 West State Fair Avenue. The property was located on the corner of 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, on the far north side of Detroit. 8 Mile Road is the actual city limits of Detroit, but the state fair grounds are on the south side of 8 Mile Road, meaning that it is inside the Detroit city limits. On the Michigan State fair grounds was a multitude of buildings, monuments, and other small structures. Included on the Michigan State fair grounds was a band-shell, performing arts building, expo center, animal-petting area, horse stables and showplace, a gymnasium, and a coliseum. The most popular site on the state fair grounds was the Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum, also known as the Hockeytown State Fair Coliseum. The coliseum was built in 1922. It was a 5,600-seat, multi-purpose arena, located on the state fair grounds. The coliseum was used mainly for sporting events, such as: NASCAR auto racing, wrestling, horse-riding, and ice hockey.

The Michigan State Fair attracted people from all over the country. The Michigan State was the oldest state fair in the country, beginning in 1849. Until the Michigan State fair grounds bought the current site in 1905, the Michigan State Fair was held in different cities throughout Michigan. The Michigan State Fair was always held in the summer time and families enjoyed “a day of fun in the sun” for over 150 years. Attendance peaked at 1.2 million in 1966, but by 2009 the Michigan State Fair attracted only 217,000 visitors.

The Michigan State grounds have been abandoned since 2009.  The only thing that is still in use is the Fieldhouse.  The Michigan State Fair is now held in Novi, Michigan at the Suburban Collection Showplace.