The Chimney Tudor
Year Built: 1933
Style: Chimney Tudor
It took more than 20 years of pining for the historic Tudor house on East Meadowmere to be ready for move-in, but it was well worth the wait for the Fisk family.
In 1996, the Fisk family found a truly untouched relic when they moved into the iconic Tudor home on East Meadowmere. The two-story house with its front-facing fireplace was built in 1933 by Carl Bissman and was the family home of Dr. William Cary and Anne M. Cheek. When the Fisk family moved in, the home hadn’t been touched. There was no air conditioning, and the original wallpaper and window dressings were intact. Even the service bells in the living room and dining room worked.
Jan and Howard Fisk first discovered the property on a snowy day in December 1973. “It was December 19th,” Jan says. “Being young kids, we thought we’d go drive around in the snow. We saw this house, and I said, ‘That’s where I want to live someday.’” From that day on, Jan carried a photo of the house in her purse until the property went up for sale 23 years later. With no central air conditioning in their new home and a family in tow, the Fisks moved in July 5, 1996, and set to work renovating and modernizing the historic property. With the help of interior designer Charles Sumner, the couple’s renovations focused on preserving the home’s historic character. That meant new kitchen cabinets were custom-built to match the original, and the new dishwasher and fridge were stored behind matching cabinets as a clever way to hide the modern appliances.
The travertine marble fireplace mantel, which dates back to the 16th century, was in immaculate condition, as was the ceramic tile in the bathrooms. Working off their love of antiques, the Fisks slowly updated the home and salvaged as many of the original features as possible. When they added an addition and extended the garage, they managed to find matching exterior stone. They even purchased a similar front door, a set of French doors and fireplace stone from another Bissman house in the area that was being torn down. For furnishings, the couple spent years seeking out period Chippendale tables and chairs. But their patience has paid off. “We’ve been on a scavenger hunt for 22 years to find items that match the house,” Howard says. “The statement mirrors are from Memphis and Tulsa, and the dining room table is from Kansas City. Those little things complete the house, and that’s as much fun as owning the home.”