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Sneak peek inside the Farwell Building

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It will reopen in 2019 after 35 years

A big piece of Capitol Park will be completed in 2019. The historic Farwell Building has been undergoing a renovation over the past couple years. Curbed recently visited for a sneak preview into the architectural landmark.

Kraemer Design Group, which works on many of the historical restorations downtown, led the tour. According to Historic Detroit, the building has been vacant since 1984. Remarkably, many of the interior details were able to be salvaged. The atrium, stairway railings, and terrazzo floors were all in good shape. The building originally had three elevators; due to their size, the elevators were reconfigured into two main elevators.

The building dates back to 1915 and is known for its interior details, which were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It’s listed on both the State Register of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.

The lobby is currently not open to see, but KDG says that the Tiffany dome in the lobby is being restored and will be unveiled at the opening. A lot of work is still happening with the exterior, but windows have been cleaned up and cornices were recreated. We were able to capture one of the apartments (there will be 82 total), the beautiful stairway, and the rooftop, which has majestic skyline views.

Light pours in from the ceiling into the atrium, where the stairwell winds around. On each floor, you’ll see imagery redone on the walls. A preservationist from KDG was at the Met in New York, and noticed a familiar design. The Met gave the original Tiffany imagery to KDG, and a digital wall covering company helped recreate the design on the walls.

Most of the apartments will be studios and one-bedrooms, with a few two-bedrooms. Window casings were salvageable and refinished—they had been painted green before.

Developers Karp and Associates have been leading the redevelopment of this historic place. The building will reopen in 2019 with the residential units, plus retail and restaurant space on the first floor.

Farwell Building

1249 Griswold Street, , MI 48226