The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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Sadly for the teams working on Detroit’s G.A.R. building – 2012 will go down as one of the hottest on record.  So what better place to be in this heat, than outside and 70 feet up on construction lifts and scaffolding?   We were delayed a bit awaiting mortar tests and shipments of materials (and also couldn’t decide what color to paint the exterior of the windows)  but now things are finally starting to get fun.e694d-ws_carpenter-scaled1000The window team has been busy stripping and repairing and re-glazing the original windows (see May 30 entry “130 To Go”).  Now, with a color selected they will take the final steps to get them replaced along the Grand River side.  They are starting in the attic and working their way down – so if you are in the neighborhood, you will need to look way, way up.efe91-painting1-scaled1000The team of stone masons has now given the building 2 gentle washes to get rid of most of the dirt that has clung there for decades and also to loosen the mortar and prep for the new stuff.  The stone itself is in pretty good shape and less than 5% of the exterior needs complete replacement.  They also applied some samples of a stone-like epoxy which will patch cracks and chips where needed.  If you look up at the Grand River/Adams turret, you can see duct tape marking where the various color blends have been tested.2dc23-mason_lift-scaled1000They have also been stripping away some of the old flashing where the roof meets those same turrets.  The roofers step in soon so the stone masons have had to prep the space where the two meet.d49a1-ws_mason-scaled1000Meanwhile, the team at Mindfield braved the heat and was out shooting a Civil War reenactment last weekend at historic Ft Wayne.  We’re creating a library of footage to be used in the G.A.R. Memorial.  Stay tuned for some test frames from that footage.  It’s looking very cool.

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.

One thought on “HERE WE GO…

  1. I’m so thankful you folks purchased the GAR building!

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