Historic Farwell Building Part of the Most Prestigious Condo Building in Chicago

At left, the original Farwell Building at N Michigan Ave and Erie. At right, the Ritz-Carlton Residences in 2011. Images from City of Chicago / The Ritz-Carton Residences Chicago

Not every Chicago real estate building has a story behind it, but the architectural history behind what is now The Ritz-Carlton Residences is special. While these may be the newest downtown Chicago condos, the building and the location have deep historical roots in the city. The location of The Ritz-Carlton Residences on the corner of North Michigan and Erie was originally home to the Farwell Building, built in 1927 and one of the most acclaimed structures on Michigan Avenue.

A Landmark Building with History

Back then, the 11-story Farwell Building was developed to be a distinguished piece of architecture on Michigan Avenue, aiming to set the bar for future development on this block. For the design, architect Philip B. Maher looked to French-inspired classical and art deco influences, with clean lines and a limestone facade that represented the aesthetic of the late 1920s.

He was also inspired by classical revival elements, and these various inspirations for the building’s design helped the Farwell Building become an eclectic jewel that represented North Michigan Avenue’s turn to becoming the Magnificent Mile.

The Farwell Building was a landmark building in Chicago, and the Landmark Commission agreed to having The Ritz-Carlton Residences built on the site if the original building was kept.

Architecture of The Ritz-Carlton Residences

Jumping forward several decades, the developers of The Ritz-Carlton Residences were sure to make every effort to incorporate the original Farwell Building into the new building. From the Farwell’s limestone panels to its stonework and bas reliefs, these key pieces of the original building were carefully conserved and incorporated into the design of The Ritz-Carlton Residences.

Just as the Ritz-Carlton name is known for meticulous attention to detail and service from its staff, the Chicago condos were built with that same diligence to conserve the Farwell Building’s history and to make the new building an outstanding piece of architecture. By design, the new building’s classical and art deco characteristics will encase condominium units with the same exacting details that should become iconic in the years to come. The Ritz-Carlton Residences are destined to become a Chicago landmark all on its own.

The architectural significance of this building places it among the ranks of other luxury Chicago condos. I would be happy to give you a first-hand look at the design The Ritz-Carlton Residences and its tributes to the Farwell Building. Contact me at 312-264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Image credits: The City of Chicago / The Ritz-Carlton Residences

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