The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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c075b-992_0255_01-scaled1000The US flag flies again over Detroit’s G.A.R. Building.

Sean, Tom and I were fortunate to have a great group join us this past weekend following Detroit’s Veteran’s Day Parade.  More than 100 people gathered for the first flag raising at the G.A.R. in almost half a century.  People came from across the state, across the country and even as far away as Japan (OK, they were in town for something else but they did stop by for the flag raising).4eb8c-992_0291_01-scaled1000We held a small ceremony including words from Civil War Historian Bruce Butgereit and his wife, Marcia and an awesome rendition of the National Anthem by Detroit-born but LA-based Michelle Penn.  It was a great way to honor the “Boys in Blue” at the doorstep of the G.A.R.280a5-992_0274_01-scaled1000The flag raising itself was done by 4 members of Cass Tech’s ROTC squad and Color Guards were provided by both active military and Civil War reenactors alike.  We were even treated to a 21 musket salute by those in Civil War period clothing.95927-992_0288_3-scaled1000Special Mindfield thanks to Michelle Penn for joining us back here in her hometown, Bruce Butgereit for helping us “keep it real” and Mindfield’s own Matt Reznik for making so much happen.  We 3 consider ourselves fortunate to be part of such a talented team.12827-992_0292_01-scaled1000

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.

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