NSO Bell Building

Detroit, Michigan

Built in 1930 as headquarters for Western Electric, the 12‐story warehouse was known as much for its Art Deco architecture as for its role in making and shipping telephone equipment. Yellow Pages moved in and installed its iconic Michigan Yellow Pages sign in 1958. After its sale in 1995, the building sat vacant and dilapidated for 12 years – until Neighborhood Service Organization stepped in to convert it to 155 units of permanent supportive housing for previously homeless residents of Detroit. Turning a huge warehouse into modern apartments took $50 million, and lots of creative thinking. The full-gut rehab relied heavily on environmentally friendly solutions. The restoration salvaged and restored many existing elements, and returned the façade to its original glory.  More importantly, the building now has the facilities needed to offer support services to improve resident’s skill levels to become self-sufficient. Now residents have a safe, healthy, and historic home – and like the NSO Bell Building they have an opportunity for a new beginning.