The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic



7ae45-0004x9-scaled1000A ride down Grand River and by the G.A.R. building will show more workers scaling the outside than ever.  There are 3 teams in place each at varying stages of completion.

The stone workers are wrapping up most of their work.  The last round for them included putting the few pieces of replacement stone in the exterior walls. We are fortunate that there was very little stone actually needing replacement. From the Grand River side you can see 3 pieces of “new” stone added to the leftmost turret. It’s not a perfect match – but it is from the original quarry in mid Michigan.  With any luck time will “age” it properly and it will blend.

The team on the windows continues on.  Most of the windows fronting Grand River are in place.  If you study them, they are all in varying stages of priming or painting. We hit some of them with the full paint early when we were choosing a final color. I think there are 2 shades of primer on most of the others.  We were very excited to have the half circle window go back in place.  From the inside, it sits on the balcony level, only about a foot above the floor.  The perspective is almost dizzying as you look down and out that opening.17188-001480-scaled1000And finally, the roofers are on site and moving full steam with the new roofing materials. We had a separate carpenter team in over the last 2 weeks.  Initially, they were to make a large opening in the uppermost roof (for the new HVAC system) and also to repair one valley which had extensive water damage.  The opening in the rooF went well enough, but as they went to shore up the floor to fix the valley we realized that the water damage was pretty extensive in the balcony level below as well.  The carpenters had to go down an entire level to replace a header and several joists so that they could then work upwards and secure the roof and replace parts of the valley.  They wrapped that work up this week and are now focusing on some smaller projects while on site.97f43-0046ph1-scaled10006684f-_dsc0787-jpeg-scaled100001f32-_dsc0779-jpeg-scaled1000The team at Integrity is busy coordinating the new utilities for the building.  We are able to salvage only a few elements of the G.A.R.’s electrical system.  The entire water system will be new as well as an HVAC system to replace what had been a series of steam pipes.

We’re also beginning to work with teams to layout the kitchen for the restaurant(s) which will open one day on the first level. Mindfield remains excited to make the G.A.R. building home.  We continue to work on the design and layout of our office.  We’re working with teams on the IT needs of our company and future tenants.

We’re working to prep for the MHPN event on October 12 and also excited to announce that we will have a ceremony on Saturday, November 3rd to raise a flag over the G.A.R. building for the first time in almost a half century.  If you’re reading this – you should plan to join us that afternoon for the event.

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.

3 thoughts on “IT’S GO TIME… (FALL IS HERE)

  1. this building is truely amazing a real gem of the city im glad somebody finaly took on this project , i used to walk past this building every other day and marvel at its beautiy and originality good work !

  2. The flag ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 PM Saturday, November 3. There will be lots of flags, uniformed re-enactors, patriotic commentary, song, and the firing a military salute. Come be a part of history.

  3. The expectations for this project are greatly exceeded by the result. What a great work this is. How wonderful that people will get to enjoy this Detroit jewel. Thanks to all involved!
    Bill Nash
    Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
    Department of Michigan
    Camp 2 General Israel B. Richardson, Camp Commander

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