Benjamin Siegel, the Detroit women's wear mogul, is not to be confused with Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, a notorious mobster who was brutally gunned down in 1947. No, this Benjamin Siegel operated his own clothing store beginning in March 1881.

His line of clothes became very popular in the city and outlying areas – so much so, that he ended up with eight locations. As the decades wore on, a few bankruptcies were filed and some of the shops closed. In February 1990, the downtown store caught fire and was demolished a few days afterward. The line of B. Siegel women's wear was no more.

Benjamin Siegel was born in Germany, March 15, 1860, and arrived in the United States in 1876 at age 16. As a teen, he worked in Alabama in general merchandise and in 1881, at 21 years old, Benjamin moved to Detroit and managed a ready-to-wear department. And that was the beginning of his long reign.

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His store was so successful, it became known as “the largest specialty establishment between New York and Chicago.” A kind man, Mr. Siegel was well-liked and admired throughout his lifetime. Customers, casual acquaintances, and people he met on the street were all captivated by the generosity and kindness of this man, whose wealth didn't seem to make him pompous or snobbish.

His lavish mansion sits in Detroit's Historic Boston-Edison District. Seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, game room, ballroom, two half baths, and plenty of ornate design, crystal chandeliers, and anything else you could imagine a mansion of a rich entrepreneur would have.

The gallery below takes you inside this multi-million dollar mansion of B. Siegel, who passed away in November 1936 at age 76.

Inside the Benjamin Siegel Mansion, Detroit


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