In Birmingham, $2.8M gets you a forgettable four-bedroom close to downtown. In Manhattan, it buys a small apartment with a decent view. In Detroit, let's just say you get a little more mansion for your money.
Asking $2,790,000, the Hecker-Smiley Mansion is French Renaissance all-star in Detroit's famous mansion collection. When it was built in 1892, Woodward Avenue was lined with similar monuments to unimaginable wealth. This one comes from railroad/ship-building baron Col. Frank J. Hecker, who hired famed architect Louis Kamper to design it as the family's private residence.
The house weighs in at a massive 21,000 square feet, which isn't surprising for a building containing 49 separate rooms. If you simply can't bear to share that space with guests, simply stash them in the 5,700-square-foot carriage house out back.
The mansion currently serves as the offices for law firm Charfoos & Christensen, who shelled out over a million dollars to renovate the entire building in 1991. Just two years ago, the Hecker-Smiley Mansion was asking $3.5M.
(Fun Fact: Hecker was friends with lumber baron David Whitney, who finished building his own Woodward Avenue mansion two years later. Today, it's the Whitney restaurant. It's said that Whitney had his mansion designed to outdo the opulence of Hecker's place.)
· Hecker-Smiley Mansion [Loopnet]
· Need a mansion? An office? Or both? [Crain's]