LAWRENCE FISHER MANSION--DETROIT, MI                                                                                                                               

Title of Installation:

Lawrence Fisher Mansion Tiled Interiors

Materials Used:

Ceramic tiles

Additional Materials Information:

General Description:

"Lawrence Fisher was the most flamboyant of the seven very prosperous Fisher Brothers. Along with his father and brothers, he earned his fortune in the Fisher Brothers Body firm that supplied General Motors. In the mid-1920s, Lawrence Fisher decided to build a magnificent home for himself—one that would clearly indicate his wealth, perhaps more than his good taste. He selected this isolated corner of Detroit apparently because of his desirable location near Lake St. Clair. From 1925 to 1934, Fisher was not only a principal in Fisher Body but was also president of Cadillac.


C. Howard Crane, the great theater architect of that age, was selected to design the house. He was known for his exhauberant style as illustrated in his Detroit masterpiece—the Fisher Theater. This was apparently meant to be a huge Mediterranean-style villa similar to some that rich individuals were building in Florida at this time. Fisher was a close friend of William Randolph Hearst who was building his San Simeon estate in California at this time so some think that Fisher wanted a Detroit home to rival San Simeon.


This is a 22,000 square foot home situation on four acres of gardens. However, it has only two bedrooms. The interior floors are rosewood parquet. There is black walnut paneling with numerous marble columns and several walls covered in hand-painted leather. At one point, 200 craftsmen were employed to build this house, many of them apparently brought from Europe for this purpose. The master bathroom is done in lapis blue Pewabic tile. Seventy-five ounces of gold and 140 ounces of silver were used for the interior trim. No one cultural style was used in the interior. Rather, the style varies from room to room."* The interior was designed by Francis J. Geck and includes tiled fountains besides the fabled tiled bathroom. A slide show about the mansion, created by the current owners, may be downloaded below.***

Technical Information (Size,mfg., etc.):

The tiles were made by the Pewabic Pottery** which was founded in 1907 and has continued production to this date.

Year Created:

1927

Year Installed, if different:

Does Installation Still Exist?

Yes. It is currently the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center of the Hare Krishna group.

If Not, What Happened?

State:

Michigan

City:

Detroit

Location of Installation:

383 Lenox

GPS Coordinates:

Directions to Installation:

Additional Information, Websites, Citations:

*http://detroit1701.org/LawrenceFisherMansion.html

**http://detroit1701.org/Pewabic.htm

http://www.pbase.com/papajim_48306/image/54887838

"Detroit's Fisher Mansion gets update", http://www.denverpost.com/insideandout/ci_16229299

***http://www.detroitiskconlive.com/Fisher+Mansion+on+ppt.ppt (to download a powerpoint slide show about the Fisher Mansion)

***All photos are from the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center slide show

Submitted by and Year:

Michael Padwee (tileback101"at"collector.org); December 2010