Monday, August 17, 2015

SUMMER RESIDENCE OF MR. WILLIAM A. FISHER GROSSE ILE, MICHIGAN

SUMMER RESIDENCE OF MR. WILLIAM A. FISHER
RICHARD H. MARR - ARCHITECT 
THE WEST ENTRANCE FRONT OF THE HOUSE FROM THE DRIVEWAY

LOOKING EAST ACROSS THE FLOWER GARDEN PAST THE SOUTHERN END OF THE HOUSE

THE HOUSE FROM THE BOAT LANDING
    The mansion's dock is able to accommodate a 250-foot yacht, making it the largest dock in the entire state of Michigan. 


THE HALL

THE DINING ROOM

THE SWIMMING POOL BUILDING. AT THE FAR END OF IT IS THE GARAGE AND THE SERVICE COTTAGE GROUP

Additions to pool building were done in 1960.
THE SWIMMING POOL IS IN A SEPARATE BUILDING WITH DRESSING ROOMS AT THE NEAR END
Opening has been cut through the original closed wall and into the then Staff Quarters.
Pewabic tile ornamentation, newer mural.

Original Dressing Room portal, now used as a Dining Room.
Original Art Deco Dressing Room with atmospheric vaulted ceiling.
Now a dining room.

 Pool House Dining Room with vaulted ceiling and light fixture. 

Vaulted Lounge.
Pewabic tiled fireplace. 

    I don't know the circumstances to the final history of the house. Another Fisher mansion fire? The new house is attributed  to Architect Don Paul Young, built in 1960. I'll assume he did the additions to the Pool House.  Heinz Prechter, a German immigrant, owned the property for a number of years. Prechter was a major contributor to charities and Republican Party causes. He made his fortune by turning a few hundred dollars worth of tools and parts and an idea into American Sunroof Co. The company, later known as ASC Inc., made affordable sunroofs for U.S. cars. Eventually, Prechter owned manufacturing, real estate, investment and newspaper companies with interests in the United States, Canada, Germany and South Korea. 




    The Prechter estate was listed for $11.2 million in 2004.  Tom Gores, owner of the Detroit Pistons, purchased property for $5.4 million around 2011. Forbes has him ranked as the 190th wealthiest person in the country, worth around $3.2 billion.


1964 aerial 
    Although I can't confirm its plausible brother Charles had his Grosse Ile home next door. That house still stands. From wikipedia - Grosse Ile Township, Michigan"Charles and William Fisher, co-founders of the Fisher Body Company that later became a division of General Motors, built large summer homes at the north end of Parke Lane (one remains today)."


Charles Thomas Fisher residence???
18603 Parke Ln, Grosse Ile, MI

    Several of Detroit's automotive pioneers had summer homes on Grosse Ile in the early 20th century. 

“Elbamar”
Grosse Ile’s largest house
    R. E. Olds (Oldsmobile) built a magnificent summer estate on Elba Island in 1916. In the late 1940s and early ’50s, the mansion was converted into five apartments. Gen. William S. Knudsen (General Motors) spent summers at an old remodeled farm home near the county bridge. It later became the clubhouse for Water's Edge Country Club, owned and operated by the township. In the 1920s, Henry Ford and his wife bought a substantial piece of land between West River Road and the Thoroughfare Canal. Although they never built a home, they did sell pieces of their property to Ford employees.


HARRY BENNETT'S PAGODA HOUSE
    One unique structure on the water, known as the Pagoda House, was built in 1939 by Ford's personnel director Harry Bennett.


1960's LOGO



6 comments:

  1. My grandfather worked for both Edward Gray, Henry Ford's Chief Engineer (and founder of Grayhaven) and Gar Wood later so your site was interesting to see. Also, in 1967 I had Thanksgiving dinner at the Marshall Fields Estate as a 'friend of a friend' was the state trooper who lived in one of the stable jockey's homes during that time as he patrolled the estate. He took us on a tour of the property later. That was amazing! That was one of our stops on a progressive dinner that evening.

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  2. My grandfather worked for both Edward Gray, Henry Ford's Chief Engineer (and founder of Grayhaven) and Gar Wood later so your site was interesting to see. Also, in 1967 I had Thanksgiving dinner at the Marshall Fields Estate as a 'friend of a friend' was the state trooper who lived in one of the stable jockey's homes during that time as he patrolled the estate. He took us on a tour of the property later. That was amazing! That was one of our stops on a progressive dinner that evening.

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  3. http://halfpuddinghalfsauce.blogspot.com/2015/08/summer-residence-of-mr-william-fisher.html
    In regard to this house. In the 1950's, it was owned by Dr. and Mrs. Allen Zieger. Dr. Zieger and my father were childhood friends. I remember being in the mansion when I was about 4. Dr. Zieger tore down the mansion in the early 1960's, I believe. He kept the pool house and renovated the boat house, which sat right
    off the long dock (longest in Michigan). He and Mrs. Zieger lived in the renovated boat house. It had windows all around the living room, which gave a beautiful view of the Detroit River. Eventually, he sold the pool house and the rest of the property, I think to Heinz Prechter. My brother spent more time at this house with Dr. & Mrs. Zieger than I did, so he may have more info. Just as a side, there was a large circle in the driveway by the house, that had a large Z in the middle for Zieger.

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    1. Very nice! Thanks for filling in some of the gaps.Do you or your brother know why Dr Zieger tore the house down? Poor condition, to big? Any knowledge of Mr. Fisher's brother house that might have been next door? From wikipedia - Grosse Ile Township, Michigan - "Charles and William Fisher, co-founders of the Fisher Body Company that later became a division of General Motors, built large summer homes at the north end of Parke Lane (one remains today)."

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  4. BTW, Dr. Zieger owned and operated both Zieger Osteopathic Hospital on Livernois in Detroit, and Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills.

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  5. There were some major renovations to the main house, and an addition to the North side of the Pool house, done to the estate by Heinz Percher in the late'80s. The addition to the pool house was actually built as a executive showroom for ASC modifications. We did all of the stonework, on the addition, in the gardens, built, and restored a few fountains, and built the large bluestone patio on the south side of the pool house as well.

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