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Male, US, born 1864-12-19, died 1933-11-04

Associated with the firms network

Bither, Dennis and Farwell, Architects; Dennis and Farwell, Architects; Farwell, Lyman, Architect; McKim, Mead and White, Architects

Professional History


Draftsman, McKim, Mead and White, Architects, New York, NY, 1892-1894.

Principal, Lyman Farwell, Architect, Redlands, CA, c. 1894-1895.

Partner, Dennis and Farwell, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, 05/1895-03/1913. O.P. Dennis was listed singly in the Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1895, p. 1506, indicating that the partnership was formed after that year's city directory was compiled. The partnership ended in either January or February 1913. An identical notice was placed in two architectural journals:"The partnership of Dennis & Farwell, architects of Los Angeles, has been dissolved by mutual consent. Mr. O.P. Dennis will continue practice in the offices the firm has occupied for several years at 618-9 Fay Bldg. Mr. Lyman Farwell, a member of the state legislature will probably not open a permanent office until the present session is concluded." (See "Personal Notes," Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, vol. X, no. 19, 03/15/1913, p.10 and "Personal," Architect and Engineer, vol. XXXII, no. 2, 03/1913, p. 140. There was a problem numbering this issue of the Architect and Engineer, so the page numbers were not correctly paginated.)

State Assemblyman, Sacramento, CA, 1911-1913 and 1913-1915 session. He served as the representative of the 71st Assembly District in his first term, and the 75th in the second.

President, Western States Building-Loan Association, Los Angeles, CA, 1927.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern California Chapter.

Director, AIA, Southern Californa Chapter, Board of Directors.

Member, AIA, Southern California Chapter, City Planning Committee.

Member, City of Los Angeles, Planning Commission, both in its large (51-member) and small (5-member) incarnations.


High School/College

Graduate, Saint Paul High School, Saint Paul, MN, 1893.

B.S., Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, 1887. Farwell wrote on a California State Library Biographical Index card in 1911: "After leaving 'Tech' (M.I.T.) in '87, went to Europe for two years of travel and study. Portion of time in Henri Duray's Atelier at École des Beaux-Arts, but mostly spent the time in travel + study through France, Spain, Algeria, Tunis, Egypt, Palestine, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland, Great Britain + Ireland. L.F." The Belgian-born Duray (born 09/03/1856 in Brussels) was a popular architect with Americans working at the École in the 1880s and 1890s.



Born in Saint Paul, MN, Lyman Farwell resided with his parents in Ward 5 of that city in 1870; the Farwells were a well-off young family, owning $10,000 in real estate and having $4,000 in savings. (See, Source Citation Year: 1870; Census Place: St Paul Ward 5, Ramsey, Minnesota; Roll: T132_10; Page: 1394; Family History Library Film: 830430, accessed 02/22/2019.) A decade later, they resided at 181 East 8th Street in Saint Paul. The family's hardware business proved prosperous enough to enable his parents to employ a servant, Kate O'Gorman (born c. 1856 in IL). (See, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Saint Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota; Roll: 631; Page: 325B; Enumeration District: 017, accessed 02/22/2019.) He attended Saint Paul High School before leaving for Cambridge, MA, to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated in 1887.

He lived at 59 Western Avenue in Saint Paul when he applied for a US passport on 09/11/1890, in order to spend two years in Paris, France, and tour Europe and the Middle East until about 1892. (See, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 359; Volume #: Roll 359 - 01 Sep 1890-30 Sep 1890, accessed 02/22/2019.) According to the web site, "The True History of Rollin B. Lane, His Family and His Castle," For the greater part of 1892, Farwell traveled with Edward Pearce Casey, studying and sketching architecture in France, Belgium, Algeria, Tunis, Egypt, Palestine... Turkey, Italy Switzerland, England, Ireland and France (a 2nd time). (Casey was the son of Brig. Gen. Thomas Lincoln Casey, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and director of construction for the Library of Congress. Upon his return to the U.S. in late 1892, the younger Casey took over responsibility for overseeing most of the interior decoration at the Library of Congress.)" (See "The True History of Rollin B. Lane, His Family and His Castle," accessed 02/22/2019.) Thomas Casey (1831-1896) completed the work started by architect Robert Mills (1781-1855) on the design and construction of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. Edward Pearce Casey, his son, also worked in Washington, DC., beginning his architectural career working on the Library of Congress when he returned from Europe in 1892.

Upon his return to the US, Farwell worked in New York, NY, for approximately two years, 1892 until 1894. He worked as a draftsman in the office of the great Beaux-Arts-trained firm of the day, McKim, Mead and White.

The Farwell Family relocated to CA by 1894, living first in Redlands, CA, near the mission outpost, San Bernardino de Sena Estancia. He and his father registered to vote in San Bernardino County on 08/13/1894 and 08/03/1894, respectively. (See, Source Citation California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 38; FHL Roll Number: 977092, accessed 02/22/2019.) Farwell had an address of 616 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, in 1897. (See Maxwell's Los Angeles, California, CIty Directory, 1897, p. 332.)

Lyman Farwell lived with his younger brother Frank M. Farwell, his wife, Lucy (born 1869 in MN) and their three daughters in Brooklyn, NY, according to the US Census of 1900. The address of the Farwell's 4-story flat was 64 Herkimer Street. (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 23, Kings, New York; Page: 8; Enumeration District: 0381; FHL microfilm: 1241060, accessed 02/22/2019.)

Tens years later, Farwell, his wife, and three sons lived at South Ferguson Street in Los Angeles. The family retained two servants, Emma Witt (born c. 1880 in MN) and Rose Hoffman, a nurse, (born c. 1891 in IL). (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 71, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_82; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0180; FHL microfilm: 1374095, accessed 02/22/2019.)

In 1911, Farwell reported an address of 1123 1/2 15th Street in Sacramento, CA, when he served as a representative to the California State Assembly, 71st District.


His father was Frank Ball Farwell (born c. 1838 in MA), his mother Mary Mason (born c. 1842 in CT). In 1880, Frank operated a hardware business in Saint Paul, while Mary managed the family. According to the 1880 US Census, Lyman had a brother Frank M. Farwell (born c. 1869 in MN). By 1894, Frank Farwell worked as a rancher in Redlands, CA. (See, Source Citation California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 38; FHL Roll Number: 977092, accessed 02/22/2019.)


He married Flora Gertrude Howes (born 11/18/1870 in Hastings, MN-d. 12/01/1957 in Los Angeles, CA) on 07/18/1901 in Los Angeles, CA. Her mother was Clara F. Sanborn Howes. Her mother lived next door to Flora in 1910 at 2920 South Ferguson Street in Los Angeles.

In 1940, a widowed Flora lived at 444 South Lorraine Boulevard. She worked as the Vice-President of the Rosedale Cemetery Association, Limited. (See Los Angeles A-L, California, City Directory, 1937, p. 654 and Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1940, p. 649.)


He and Flora had four children by 1910, three of whom survived in that year. They included Felix Howes Farwell (born 04/21/1904 in Los Angeles, CA), Lyman H. Farwell (born 06/06/1906 in Los Angeles, CA), and Byron H. Farwell (born 12/09/1907 in Los Angeles, CA).

Biographical Notes

One source has listed Farwell's birthdate as 12/18/1864.

According to the California State Library's Biographical Index Cards, (compiled on Farwell in 1911), the architect supported "Progressive" Republican candidates.

The whole Farwell Family--Lyman, Flora, and their three sons--traveled from Havana, Cuba to Key West, FL, on 07/20/1925 abard the S.S. Governor Cobb. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: U.S. Citizen Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Key West, Florida; NAI Number: 2790482; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 - 2004; Record Group Number: 85, accessed 02/22/2019.)

Farwell traveled with his sons Felix and Lyman on the S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam between Southampton, England and New York, NY, between 05/04/1927 and 05/14/1927. (See, Source Citation Year: 1927; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4054; Line: 8; Page Number: 116, accessed 02/22/2019.)

Member, Sons of the American Revolution.

Associated Locations

  • Saint Paul, MN (Architect's Birth)
    Saint Paul, MN 55101

  • Los Angeles, CA (Architect's Death)
    Los Angeles, CA

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PCAD id: 1509