Frederic M. Sibley Lumber Company Office Building

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Frederic M. Sibley Lumber Company Office Building
Sibley Lumber Company Office Building Detroit MI.jpg
Location 6460 Kercheval Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°21′11″N 83°0′49″W / 42.35306°N 83.01361°W / 42.35306; -83.01361Coordinates: 42°21′11″N 83°0′49″W / 42.35306°N 83.01361°W / 42.35306; -83.01361
Area less than one acre
Built 1917
Architect Baxter, O'Dell & Halprin
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 91000329[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 4, 1991
Designated MSHS April 20, 1989[2]

The Frederic M. Sibley Lumber Company Office Building is an office building located at 6460 Kercheval Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1989[2] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.[1]

Frederic M. Sibley[edit]

Frederic M. Sibley was born in Detroit in late October, 1883.[3] As an adult, he joined his father's lumber company and acted as treasurer until his father's death in 1912, after which he assumed the presidency of the firm.[3] In 1922, the Sibley Lumber Company employed 400 people and was the second largest lumber firm in Detroit.[3]

Sibley married Mabel Bessenger in August 1910. They had five children: Josephine, Frederic Jr., Dorothy, Suzanne, and Joy.[3]

Sibley is also known for his cooperation with August Fruehauf in developing the first semi-trailers to haul lumber. Sibley, approached August Fruehauf, his blacksmith about modifying a wagon to transport an 18' boat. Sibley wanted to use his Model-T roadster rather than a slow moving horse and wagon. August Fruehauf and his partner, Otto Neumann took several days to devise a solution. They removed the back seat of the Model-T to support the front end of the wagon and fashioned a 5th wheel coupling to attach the wagon to the back of the automobile. August called it a semi-trailer. Sibley was impressed with the solution and ordered additional semi-trailers for his lumber company. Henry Ford canceled the warrantee on the modified Model T's. August Fruehauf turned this invention into a goldmine.[4] The Fruehauf Corporation manufactured these trailers for many years afterward.[5]


The Frederic M. Sibley Lumber Company Office Building was constructed in a Neo-Classical style in 1925.[6] The two-story building is red brick, trimmed with limestone, and the legend "F. M. Sibley Lumber Co." is carved in the limestone lintel above the entrance.[6] The façade is divided into eleven bays, each separated by a brick pillar.[5] Rectangular transoms within each bay separate the two stories.[5] Four limestone pilasters with Corinthian capitals surround the entrance, flanked by two vertical recessed lights.[2]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Sibley, Frederic M., Lumber Company Office Building from the state of Michigan
  3. ^ a b c d Clarence Monroe Burton, William Stocking, and Gordon K. Miller, The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, The S. J. Clarke publishing company, 1922, p.675
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Frederick M. Sibley Lumber Company Office Building from
  6. ^ a b Sibley Lumber Co. Office Building from the city of Detroit