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The Fisher Mansion. “Truly One of America’s Finest Homes” Detroit, MI 22,000 Sq. ft 4 acres of gardens. Lawrence P. Fisher (1888-1961). One of 7 bros. Born in Norwalk, OH Fisher Body Division of GM President of Cadillac Bachelor until 69. Married Dolly Roach in 1957, died 4 years later.

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the fisher mansion

The Fisher Mansion

“Truly One of America’s Finest Homes”

Detroit, MI

22,000 Sq. ft 4 acres of gardens

lawrence p fisher 1888 1961
Lawrence P. Fisher (1888-1961)
  • One of 7 bros.
  • Born in Norwalk, OH
  • Fisher Body Division of GM
  • President of Cadillac
  • Bachelor until 69. Married Dolly Roach in 1957, died 4 years later.
architect style
Architect & Style
  • Architect: C. Howard Crane
    • Popular Theater Architect
    • Fisher Theater
  • Interior Designer: Francis J. Geck
  • Architectural style: Embellished Mediterranean Revival
  • Spanish Mission exterior.
  • Interior called “Hollywood Vintage”, a blend of Art Deco and various World styles, “basically, anything goes”
    • Style similar to mansions being built in Florida & California
construction
Construction
  • Workers brought from Europe
    • Worked round the clock, lived on-site
  • Cost: $2,000,000 (Today would be $25,000,000)
  • 140 oz. silver & 75 oz. of gold and gold leaf used in Mansion
main foyer
Main Foyer
  • Orange sculpted face of Neptune, god of the sea at entrance.
    • During parties, Champagne would flow from his mouth
  • Ceiling: handcarved Spanish Oak, replica of one found in Franco’s Palace in Spain
    • Took 2 years to complete
upstairs foyer
Upstairs Foyer
  • Venetian stained glass windows
  • Ceiling done in Spanish style with gold leaf
  • Baroque archway opening the west wall
  • Two Corinthian columns at doorway
  • Serves as hub for other rooms
dining room
Dining Room
  • Walnut walls with diamond-shaped burled walnut motif.
  • Pillars from a fifteenth century German Castle.
    • “Solomonicas – after the syle of pillars found in the palace of King Solomon in ancient Jerusalem”
  • Floors and walls contain very expensive yellow Italian onyx marble.
  • Mary Stantton Pewabic tiles behind water fountain
  • Now in use as a restaurant called “Govinda’s”
library
Library
  • Fisher’s favorite room
  • Floor 2.5 feet thick oak wood
    • Constructed with butterfly joints and pegs – “no nails, will not creak” (1)
  • Hand tooled Spanish leather wall covering with red and blue gold leaf
  • Fireplace marble from extinct quarry in Italy. Made with fossils
  • Door in corner leads underground tunnel which goes to a domed, heated, indoor swimming pool.
living room
Living Room
  • Mostly French influence, with leaded glass paintings from a French chateau
  • Ceiling done in manner of Swiss chalet
  • Sandstone fireplace, with figures of angels with lion’s claws on each side.
  • Francis Geck doors.
    • Figure sculpted on each is Leda, the mistress of Zeus, riding a sea monster. The Living Room side is done in Oak, the Music-Room side is Walnut
music room
Music Room
  • Dancing and singing female figures along the edges of the ceiling
  • Ceiling done in classical Japanese style
  • French embroidered silk wall
  • Floor is walnut and black walnut parquet
  • Paneling along base of walls of African zebra wood
grand ballroom
Grand Ballroom
  • Overall effect is that of open-air Spanish courtyard
  • Francis Geck framed mirrors
  • Red and gray American marble
  • Now serves as temple room
mrs fisher s suite
Mrs. Fisher’s Suite
  • Done in French style from era of King Louis XVI
  • Hand painted canvas panels by William Wright.
    • “Cameos at the top of each panel are pictures of Fisher’s girlfriends”
  • Ceiling borders have leafing of mixed gold and silver
master bedroom
Master Bedroom
  • Ceiling Mediterranean style from Southern France
  • Floor is East Indian rosewood
  • Bathroom walls are mostly Pewabic Tiles from the American Tile Company
    • No two tiles are alike
    • “Created by dropping chemicals in a random pattern on tiles before firing”
  • Gold in floor tiles: Silver in blue wall tiles
  • “The blue color is the same as the first Cadillac that rolled of the assembly line”
  • 7 head shower
games room
Games Room
  • Two regulation size-bowling alleys downstairs
  • “Atmosphere of a medieval crypt beneath a castle”
  • Plaster arches and oak beams across ceiling
  • Three diamond-paneled French doors at back end, open to terrace by canal
  • Today used as gift store
after fisher
After Fisher

In January 1976, Alfred Brush Ford (great-grandson of Henry Ford) and Elisabeth Reuther (daughter of Walter Reuther) purchased the Mansion for $300,000 then donated it to their spiritual teacher. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The mansion was then renovated and transformed into a temple and cultural center, which is its current use today.