Sunday, April 6, 2014

Abandoned Places: The Farwell Building

Finished in 1915, the Farwell Building is one of Detroit's most architecturally significant buildings. Unfortunately, in an attempt to modernize the building in the 1950s, much of the beauty and craftsmanship of the building was covered up or removed. Then, after a fire which started in the ground-floor restaurant in the mid-70s, the main Tiffany chandelier was stolen. It still managed to become registered as both a state and national historic landmark, though. Despite its status, by the 80s, it was struggling to retain tenants, and permanently closed its doors in 1984, leaving it as easy prey for vandals and thieves. Talks of renovation have so far proved to be nothing more than talk.
The last photos are credited to David Kohrman.

As an added bonus, here are some photos of Forest Haven, an abandoned children's hospital in Maryland.
Photos credited to Studio Tempura [Flickr/zero101] and Jack in DC [Flickr/jbparrott] under the linked Creative Commons license.


  1. Abandoned restaurant that gets vandalized and hospital that is overgrown by nature. Boy you really went for the sad factor today Andrew.

  2. If the building is in downtown Detroit, who would want to live there anyway?

  3. What a shame though. Such buildings need to be used. Although I do agree with you Alex.

  4. We got a lot of abandoned buildings in Detroit. It's kind of sad really.

  5. I really hate seeing beautiful old buildings abandoned. You see so many manor houses in the UK left to fall apart because of the cost of maintaining them. So sad.

  6. I picture all of Detroit as abandoned.

    But more importantly, your pictures are becoming more symbolic. You had those shots of amusement parks for kids which were almost completely unaffected by time, and now the children's hospital is being torn down by nature, so that's even MORE metaphorical: The innocence of childhood cannot be destroyed, but the pains of childhood will eventually fade.

  7. Those pictures, especially of the abandoned children's hospital are hauntingly beautiful.

    Which I will gladly admire from afar, because I'm sure that place is creepy as s**t at night. Looks like something straight out of a horror novel.

  8. That first building is a tragedy. It's gorgeous, and it's sad that it wasn't preserved. *sigh* On the other hand, I'm getting inspired to write a horror story based on the school. =)

  9. Sad that "they" felt the need to cover up the original architect rather than preserve it.

    The children's hospital looks sad. Maybe it's the abandoned bus that's pictured.

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  10. We have an abandoned hospital near us in Northampton and I love it. I wish they weren't allowing it to deteriorate the way they are, because the architecture is simply spot on.

    I want to go on a walking tour of your abandoned places.

  11. I'd love to see how they went about stealing that chandelier. Because what's in my head is hilariously funny.

  12. Sheena: I don't know. I think they're all sad.

    Alex C: Well, it's not a building you live in. It was an office building.

    Jo: I think Detroit is a place that is a good investment, at the moment.

    Pat: I wish I could come drive through some of the abandoned neighborhoods and take pictures before they level them all.

    L.G.: It is sad. But old buildings cost a lot to maintain or a lot to modernize so that they don't cost as much to maintain.

    Briane: I'm glad you see symbolism in it, because, really, I'm just looking for places that fit the letters. Maybe, it's the universe being symbolic.

    ABftS: Oh, but if you want to write that novel, you have to go stay the night in it!

    Crystal: Do it!

    Elsie: That's what the 50s were like, though.
    I love the picture of the bus.

    randi: I would really love the chance to explore some of these places.

    Rusty: Yeah, stealing a chandelier seems like it would be riskier than it was worth. Too bad it was before security cameras.

  13. It's always so sad to see abandoned buildings. Such a shame!

    I love the picture of the school bus though.

  14. Detroit just needs a few billion dollars to become fabulous again.

  15. So creepy! I loved all the pics. The Farwell must have been beautiful in its day. That kid's hospital is scary! :O

  16. Structures like that Farwell Building are pretty cool. There are some large buildings in downtown L.A. that look like they've been empty for a good while.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  17. I think it looks nice. I wonder what it looked like before they tried to "modernize" it.

  18. It's a shame, there's some interesting architectural details in that cool building. Now, it's fodder for the next horror flick. Speaking of which, holy sh^t, that school creeps me out. I hope that was a telephoto lens, cuz you wouldn't catch me getting near that place for any photo op.

    Echoes of Olympus
    A to Z #TeamDamyanti

  19. Farwell should rent itself out as a movie set - beautiful interior.

  20. Chrys: The school bus pic is great.

    Michael: And some people to move back.

    Lexa: Supposedly, it was very beautiful.

    Lee: They probably have.

    Jeanne: The old pictures of how it was were all black and white, so it was hard to tell.

    Samantha: I would actually love to crawl around in the school. As long as no one's wearing a hockey mask.

    TAS: I'm sure if someone wanted to use it for that they could get permission. >I say with absolutely no basis for saying it.<

  21. Abandoned children's hospital = gah! Automatically. Great theme! Very inspiring.

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  23. Sorry I'm late on this comment~ life got away from me this week! (House guests...) In any case, somehow the sadder one is the hospital. Besides for the location of the Farwell Building, it still looks usable to me... which maybe says something about me. :P

  24. Elizabeth: I know, right!

    Alex H: There is no "late" with comments. it's not like the post will expire. :P

    Moonie: They tend to be much better than new ones.