Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Nisbett Building

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Area  less than one acre
NRHP Reference #  86003452
Opened  1885
Added to NRHP  4 December 1986
Built  1885 (1885)
Designated MSHS  August 12, 1977
Architectural style  Victorian architecture
Nisbett Building
Location  101 S. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids, Michigan
People also search for  Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, Ferris State University, Townline Lake

The Nisbett Building is a commercial building located at 101 South Michigan Avenue in Big Rapids, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1977 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.



In 1885, Daniel F. Comstock, a leading Big Rapids businessman, began construction on this building. He spent $150,000 enclosing the building and finishing the Maple Street facade; however, work on the building apparently halted due to the economic downturn in the 1890s. Comstock himself went bankrupt in 1896, and the building ownership was assumed by the Michigan Trust Company of Grand Rapids. The Trust sold the building to William P. Nisbett, a retired newspaper editor from Big Rapids, in 1900 for $20,000.

Nisbett was born in London in 1847, and in 1861 emigrated with his family to the United States. In 1863 the family moved to Pontiac, Michigan, and the next year William Nisbett served briefly in the 16th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In 1869, he established a newspaper in Pontiac, where he worked until 1880. In 1882, he purchased the Big Rapids Herald, where he worked until his retirement in 1900.

Nisbett hired Grand Rapids builder J. H. Fisher to complete construction, including a hotel in one section of the building. In 1929, the eastern portion of the building was demolished in a fire.

In 2003, the Nisbett Building, along with the nearby Fairman Building, were refurbished into senior citizen housing, and are now known as the Nisbett-Fairman Residences.


The Nisbett Building is a three-story rectangular Late Victorian brick commercial block. It is located the intersection of Michigan and Maple. There are four entryways, each topped with a parapet. The main entrance is through a four-bay porch supported by Corinthian columns; a second corner entry opens into a bank lobby. The arched windows have wooden sashes, and are arranged in three-bay configurations.


Nisbett Building Wikipedia

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