The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic

THE G.A.R. GETS A BATH

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Bath night…or week, I guess, maybe bath month?.DSC_7301Everything needs a bath occasionally.  And this century, it’s time for the Grand Army of the Republic Buildings here in Detroit.  It’s actually part of a summer long facelift she’ll be getting.  The real starting point to the entire renovation that will happen over the next year and a half or so.

We’ve brought on Akins Construction, a Detroit-based masonry company that specializes in historic rehabilitation.  They brought a great resume to the project and were helpful in making their numbers fit ours.DSC_7311It’s been a slow start as they have had to have the original mortar analyzed so we can match what was used in 1899.  Kind of like a DNA test for cement.  We’ve been waiting on those results for a week or two now, but in the meantime they have been doing some minor “behind-the-scenes” patching and scraping flaking loose stone and bits of mortar which have been used to patch the building over the years.

This week they are doing the initial gentle wash of the building in preparation for the fun stuff.  As new stone arrives on site (we believe we have located the original quarry, here in Michigan) they will begin in earnest to replace the bad stuff, prop up the good and fill in everything else.  Once the tuck pointing and heavy lifting are done they will complete another bath to wrap their job.DSC_7283Also in the next few weeks, keep an eye out for a great construction “ballet” at the G.A.R., as the roofers and the windows guys will also be crawling around on the exterior making their magic happen at the same time.  It’s gonna be a busy summer.

The team at Mindfield has completed a new logo for the building…we will post that in the next week or so.  Should also have a few more cool announcements over the summer.  Stay tuned.

All photos by Lindsey Yeo

Author: G.A.R. Building

The G.A.R. building was purchased by the media production firm Mindfield from the City of Detroit in November, 2011. Mindfield has started renovating the G.A.R., with opening slated for November 2014. Mindfield plans to occupy the top two floors itself, lease the ground floor for 2 restaurants, and dedicate a memorial to Civil War Veterans. The G.A.R. Building was designed by architect Julian Hess, and constructed at 1942 West Grand River and Cass as an appropriate structure for meetings and other G.A.R. related activities. The original construction cost was split between the Grand Army of the Republic (who paid $6000 of the cost) and the city of Detroit (who paid the remainder of the $44,000 total cost). Construction commenced in 1897 on the five-story building.

2 thoughts on “THE G.A.R. GETS A BATH

  1. Looking good! Is that sandstone?

  2. Looks wonderful! Is that sandstone?

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