The Frederic J. Fisher mansion is located in the Arden Park/East Boston Historic District in central Detroit. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (listed on April 29, 1982).
The Fisher Mansion was constructed by Frederic J. Fisher in 1918. At that time, Fisher was the Founder, President, and Chairman of Fisher Body Corporation—the nation’s largest auto-body manufacturer—and employed over 100,000 persons in locations nationwide. Fisher had founded Fisher Body with his six brothers in 1908. Fisher himself—the eldest brother—is credited as the man who “enclosed the automobile.” He created weatherproof doors, windows, frames, and a solid chassis on a vehicle that had originally been conceived as a “horseless carriage” and had until then been entirely open to the elements.
The Fisher Mansion is located in a neighborhood of similar properties, all of them constructed during the “boom” period of Detroit in the 1910s. Five doors away is the Henry Ford home. Next door to the Fisher Mansion is the SS Kresge home. Around the block is the home of JL Hudson, founder of the celebrated Hudson’s department store, and the John Dodge mansion—now the home of the cardinal archbishop of Detroit.
The Fisher Mansion is constructed entirely of Indiana Limestone. It is the work of architect George D. Mason of the architectural firm of Mason & Rice. The home was featured in the 1920s in House and Garden Magazine as evidencing “the harmony of proportion, materials, and design.” The general design is in the “Italian Villa” style, with elaborate interior features, including coffered ceilings with murals; Pewabic floors; thousands of square feet of marble; walnut paneling; a gilded ballroom; a large paneled music room; and custom interior ironwork.
The home has had only three owners. The current owners (since 2007) have completely restored the grounds to their original state, including an Italian Renaissance Garden consisting of limestone paths and boxwood hedges.
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