The Farwell Building

For over 30 years one of finest buildings in Detroit’s Capitol Park neighborhood was left to rot.

According to the Michigan State Historic Preservation office, "The Farwell Building is a fine example of early twentieth century commercial architecture. Named for the estate of Jesse H. and Emmer J. Farwell, the building was completed in 1915 from plans by Detroit architect Harrie W. Bonnah of the firm Bonnah & Chaffee."

The Farwell is notable for several things: the lobby on the ground floor is decorated with marble and shards of Tiffany glass, and once had ornate brass doors. The fifth through eighth floors, which were originally offices, have a light court running down the center with wrought-iron railing wrapping around and down the stairs.

Though the building lost some of its luster when it was modernized in the 1950's, it retained enough historic significance to be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Like other downtown buildings, the Farwell had trouble attracting and keeping tenants, and eventually closed in 1984.

The Farwell suffered badly after going vacant, crumbling under the weight of scrappers, vandals, and weather. Many of the wrought-iron railings were stolen, as well as the brass elevator doors and chandeliers. Fire also damaged the restaurant on the first floor. In 2009 the Farwell was sold to a city agency for $3.3 Million, which announced plans to redevelop the entire Capital Park neighborhood.

Restoration work to convert the Farwell into apartments began in 2016 and was completed in 2019.

Thanks to for some pictures used in this article.