Being a nerdy, history-loving kid growing up has led me to have an appreciation for old buildings. When vines or moss are growing up on the sides of a place, it gives a feeling I can't describe, like the place is being returned to nature.


That being said, nothing makes me happier than when a building most people look at as an eye sore is given a second chance. I came across a post on Instagram by the account rundownbuildings that showcased a stunning mansion in the heart of Detroit with an even more stunning story behind it.

James Scott Mansion, Detroit
byu/mrl33602 inOldPhotosInRealLife


The Story of the James Scott Mansion

Located in Midtown, Detroit, this mansion has quite the story. It was built in 1897 by the son of a real estate investor and became an apartment building after the owner's death. However, it fell into disrepair after fires ravaged the building in the 1980s, leaving it in exposed to the elements for nearly 20 years before being put on the demolition list in the early 2000s.


Google Maps
The James Scott Mansion in  2011 before repairs started in 2016. / Google Maps


However, it was saved by local developer Joel Hardy, who bought the building and planned to restore it to its former glory. However, due to multiple factors, he was not able to start reconstruction until 2016.
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By the time he began working on the project, the building had been vacant and falling apart for 30 years, to the point where Hardy would "collect and preserve" stone that would fall off the building until he could fix it up. Google Maps' street view offers a candid look at the timeline of this crumbling building.



The Completed Restoration of the Mansion

He completed the restoration of the building in 2018, modernizing it while sustaining its unique look. It is now once again an apartment building, offering 27 apartments ranging from 400 sqft to 700 sqft. The apartments are situated in the heart of Midtown, Detroit within walking distance of popular places like Wayne State University and Third Man Records.


Units are available for rent now. If you want to see what the building looks like inside, check it out below.


Google Maps
Google Maps


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Gallery Credit: Tommy McNeill

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