The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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CAN WE FIX YOU A DRINK?

Lindsey, our photographer at Mindfield was off last week…so we have a lot to catch up on.  She spent most of today at the castle taking pictures of all the work the team pulled together when she was out.

The most noticeable change would be the addition of the bar framing in the Republic Tavern.  We’d been staring at lines on the floors for months – so seeing the knee wall in place is a big step towards better visualizing what goes where and what else will fit around it.DSC_4178This is what you’ll see upon walking into the restaurant. If you look past all the tools and stacks of drywall you can see the wood framing leaning off to the right.  The bar runs parallel to Grand River along the front of the space. If it looks big to you – that was our reaction as well.  There is a great bar back going in on the rear of the bar but even still, we hope you’re thirsty.  We’ll have plenty of room for you.DSC_4185
DSC_4182 If you look closely you can see we have stripped the paint off the recently revealed columns to highlight the bare steel surface.  There are a total of 4 columns running from the back to the front of the space.  They remain one of the coolest “finds” in Detroit’s G.A.R. building.DSC_4160

All photos by Lindsey Yeo


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THIRSTY?

Well, someone was – a long time ago.  And then left the bottle “under” the basement of the G.A.R. building in Detroit for us to find 100+ years later.

Our teams have been trenching in the basement for a while now and working to locate where the plumbing drains start and end up.  Last week, they hit glass and somehow managed not to break it.

The first bottle is easy.  A half pint bottle from The Detroit Creamery Company.  We found this write-up about them in a News article.

“Over time the big dealers were prevailing. Detroit Creamery Company had the largest dairy processing plant in the state and was considered by many to be the cleanest plant in the country. Every day 303 wagons with teams of horses left their plant and made a total of 50,000 stops, selling more than 20,000 gallons of milk. By 1916 they began using motor trucks for wholesale deliveries.”  and

“The Detroit Creamery Company formed in 1897, and by 1916 built a beautiful state-of-the-art dairy and horse stable at Grand River and Cass Avenue, designed by no less an architect than Albert Kahn.”

draft_lens5096932module121021311photo_1285090696Detroit_Creamery_Company.

Photo via the Albert Kahn Collection

The article states that the dairy was right across the street from the G.A.R..

The second bottle shows no markings.  It’s blue and almost half the height of the milk bottle. Medicine perhaps?  One has to think the worker was pretty sore after digging a basement for the castle.

(The photo shows the current Mindfield office in the background…gonna be tough to leave this space after all these years.)

DSC_3506

Photo by Lindsey Yeo


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FLOORED!!!

DSC_3085From the kitchen looking toward the Grand River windows.

DSC_2953Looking accross what will eventually be the bar.

The existing floors in both the Parks and Rec Diner and the Republic Tavern had to be trenched in order to run all the new mechanical through the restaurants. The cuts were made months ago and we’ve been stepping over them ever since while the plumbing, electrical and bar lines were set in place.

DSC_3098Where the Diner counter will be.

DSC_3229Wet concrete.

This week, we’ve been able to stop jumping about as we finally are at a place where they can be filled in and the floor made whole again. The teams worked the final prep in the am – and the cement truck arrived just after lunch. Then the pouring began.

DSC_3362Finished look.

DSC_3233Wet concrete vs. terrazzo.

Concrete is not generally exciting on it’s own, but as it brings us one step closer, we think it is kinda cool. In fact as the walls can now begin to go up in place, we think concrete is actually very cool.

DSC_3416All dry the next day.

All photos by Lindsey Yeo


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CHUTES AND LADDERS

DSC_2546DSC_2568Actually, these images are more of “ducts and ladders” but it is a cool look at all of the mechanical that is making it’s way into the attic. Somehow, this work has fallen during this “hot spell” in the weather. It get’s warm up there.DSC_2787If nothing else, it’s a great contrast between wood and steel…and a few bricks.DSC_2789

All photos by Lindsey Yeo


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LET IT RAIN

DSC_2057Not really, actually. Hopefully the new sprinkler system will be the most underutilized piece of equipment in the building. It’s going in either way – and for the first time in 115 years, there will be a fire suppression system in Detroit’s G.A.R. building.DSC_2051We’ve been told by some, that “back in the day” some of the ravers in the building would start fires on the lobby floor to stay warm. There remains soot on a few of the ceilings as proof of those stories. Fortunately, that was the worst of the damage left behind.DSC_2047The team from Falcon Fire Protection is working with us to hang lots and lots of steel pipe throughout the castle. They’re wasting no time as the second floor is done now and they’re on to the next.DSC_2043Before long, they’ll turn a valve or 2 and we’ll have water for “just in case”.

Photos by Mindfield’s Lindsey Yeo


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DOWN THE HALL

DSC_2095DSC_2087One thing the Detroit’s G.A.R. building did NOT have was a full bathroom. And while you might not know it to look at us – there are some occasional workouts and morning runs downtown prior to sitting down at our desks. So, we’re adding one full bath, washer / dryer and a place to freshen up after yet another 20 hour day at Mindfield.DSC_2247DSC_2258It’s rough to envision in it’s current state but, on the balcony level where a walk in closet used to sit off the last “turret room”, we’re adding just such facilities. It had been the most “dead” space in the building. It was part long hallway and part closet and neither of any use.DSC_2312The stairway to the attic is off to the right in one photo. Our man Nick chips away at some hanging brick in another.DSC_2326DSC_2249And if you can read Spanish…

Photos by Mindfield’s Lindsey Yeo


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IN THE HOOD

In order_1As the team from Integrity Building continues juggling all the different systems, we 3 try to stay in the loop and get our team of photographers over to capture the work.in order_2Last week was an exciting one as we are starting to have the kitchens take shape.  A truck rolled up with a lot of stainless steel on board.  The true kitchen equipment is a few weeks out but the hoods arrived and are now in place and attached to the appropriate venting.in order_3in order_4We’ll have some announcements in the coming weeks with regards to the restaurants and an event or 2 this fall…until then, here are a few shots of the hood installation and another “before” look at what where food will be prepared.in order_5

All photos by Lindsey Yeo

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