Palmer Woods Historical Archives

1771 Balmoral Drive

Original Owner: Alfred J. Fisher
Architect: Richard Marr
Style: Tudor Revival
Built: 1925

This home was constructed for Alfred J. Fisher and his wife, Alma, in 1925. A J. Fisher was the second youngest of the seven Fisher brothers, founders of Fisher Body Company. A. J. Fisher became the chief engineer of Fisher Body Company in 1941 and remained in that position after Fisher Body became a division on General Motors. Richard Marr, the architect of the most impressive Tudor Revival style homes in Palmer Woods, also designed the William A. Fisher House. The Fisher homes, with their interconnected gardens and close proximity to the Detroit Archdiocese’s Bishop’s Residence and the Van Dusen House, form the most impressive ensemble in Palmer Woods in terms of sheer size and architectural elegance. This home is over 22,000 square feet.

The Alfred Fisher House, executed in a Tudor Revival Style is of red brick laid in English bond. Limestone quoins, window surrounds, and apex stones contrast with the red brick. The facade is almost symmetrical and is clearly dominated by an intersecting gable, which contains the classically derived entranceway. This frontispiece is composed of a projecting portico of paired Doric columns topped by a denticulate entablature, which is surmounted by a tall bay of glass divided by stone mullions. Bryant Fleming, landscape architect, designed the extensive grounds of both Fisher estates. Fleming, a Cornell University graduate and one of the developers of the Cornell landscape architecture program began practice in 1904 with the firm of Townsend and Fleming of Buffalo, New York. This firm designed country estates in Louisville, Chicago, New York, and Toronto as well as many in the Detroit area, including the B.E. Taylor estate in Grosse Pointe. Fleming’s work was extremely individual and imaginative. The Fisher grounds include a conservatory with wrought iron supports leading into a beautiful rose garden. The rose garden, in classic design, surrounds a long rectangular pool with fountains.


Richard Marr

Richard Marr was born in Detroit in August 1886. After leaving to study architecture at Harvard, graduating in 1911, Marr then spent two years working in Boston. In 1913, he returned to Detroit to work for renowned architect George D. Mason. Two years later, in 1915, he opened his own office, specializing in residential projects […]
Read More