The firm of James S. Rogers Jr. and Walter MacFarlane was founded in 1885.
Rogers was educated at the Massacusetts Institute of Technology. MacFarlane was a student at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and after graduating, he moved to Detroit and trained under Gordon W. Lloyd.
The firm was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, designing apartment buildings, industrial buildings and houses.
Among their most notable projects are the Michigan Central Railroad Depot in Battle Creek, Mich.; the Samuel L. Smith House on Woodward Avenue in Detroit; the L. B. King and Co. Building in Detroit; the Crescent Brass and Pin Co. Building on Trumbull Avenue in Detroit; and the James S. Rogers House on Seminole Avenue in Detroit, which all are listed individually or in historic districts in the National Register of Historic Places. However, despite designing upward of 200 buildings, few remain standing today.
Other notable works by the firm include the Iroquois Hotel in Sault Ste. Marie, and the Morgan & Wright Bicycle Tire Co. (later Uniroyal Tire Plant) in Detroit.
It appears that the firm designed their first automobile factory in 1903 for the Cadillac Automobile Co. at Second and Burroughs streets in Detroit's New Center.
The firm dissolved in 1910, when MacFarlane suffered a nervous breakdown.
Rogers went on partner with Harrie W. Bonnah to form the Rogers & Bonnah firm in Detroit.