The Fair Oaks Motor Hotel was named for Minneapolis Milling Tycoon, William D. Washburn’s demolished mansion. Built in 1884 by E. Townsend Mix, the imposing pile of rock and brick known as Fairoaks was one of the grandest houses of era. The grounds of the 40 room mansion took up two square blocks. Washburn lived in the house until his death in 1912. The property was willed to the Minneapolis Park Board, and the mansion, deemed too expensive to maintain, was demolished in 1924.
When the Fair Oaks Motor Hotel and Restaurant opened in 1957, the new facility boasted 100 air-conditioned rooms, television, radio, thermostats to select the “temperature of your preference”, courtesy buses and a swimming pool. Located at the intersection of U.S. 65 ( 3rd Avenue South) and East 24th Street, the reasonably priced motel was demolished to make way for a parking lot in the early 1990’s.