Farwell Building

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Farwell Building
Farwell Building, looking through Capitol Park
Location 1249 Griswold Street
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°20′0″N 83°3′0″W / 42.33333°N 83.05000°W / 42.33333; -83.05000Coordinates: 42°20′0″N 83°3′0″W / 42.33333°N 83.05000°W / 42.33333; -83.05000
Built 1915
Architect Harrie W. Bonnah
Architectural style Chicago school
Governing body Private
Part of Capitol Park Historic District (#99000338)
NRHP Reference # 76001037[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 30, 1976
Designated MSHS July 26, 1974[2]

The Farwell Building is a commercial building located at 1249 Griswold Street in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1974,[2] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[1]


Building interior, looking down at the light court

The Farwell Building is an eight-story rectangular building built of brick, and designed in the Chicago school architectural style.[2] The front façade makes extensive use of glass, and includes both horizontal and vertical elements.[3] A horizontal frieze crosses the façade at the entrance level, and a second frieze decorated with triglyphs and metopes adorns the second story. Ionic pilasters stand at the corners of the building and flanking the central entrance.[2] Decorative iron grillwork is on the entrance transom, and the interior features a Tiffany mosaic ceiling, brass elevator doors,[3] and marble walls.[2]


The Farwell Building is named for the estate of Jesse H. and Emmer J. Farwell. The building was completed in 1915 from plans made by architect Harrie W. Bonnah. The decorative (and structural) ironwork was made by the Russel Wheel and Foundry Company of Detroit.[2]

In 1956, the Farwell was significantly altered: the original terra cotta cornice with Pewabic tiles was bricked over, and significant changes were made to the ground level façade.[2] Higgins Management Company purchased the Farwell during the 1970s and renovated the building for office space.[2] However, since 1984, the building has been completely vacant.[3]

In October 2009, it was announced that the State of Michigan was in negotiations to buy the building from the current owners through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. A final sale price (to be determined) of over $3 million USD has been announced (less past-due property taxes owed on the building).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Farwell Building from the state of Michigan
  3. ^ a b c Farwell Building from Detroit1701.org
  4. ^ John Gallagher, "State to buy Farwell Building", Detroit Free Press, October 17, 2009

External links[edit]