The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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We’ve been busy with the paperwork end of things for the last few weeks – so there has been little to report…but the teams are back and there are again signs of life at the G.A.R. building in Detroit. We’re calling it Phase 1.5.  Phase 1 is over and the big final push is still a few weeks away.  Hence Phase 1.5.tapeworkerThere is a giant plastic bubble around the grand archway which will eventually welcome people to the finished building.  Although the arch has been uncovered for months, there had been little done to it other than putting new panes of glass above the front doors.  That will soon change. In fact, the repaired entrance and the new storefronts are all a part of the next round of work.  This spring, for the first time in decades Detroit’s Grand Army building will shed any and all signs of plywood and glass block from it’s exterior.tapeworker2AND FLOORS…

On the inside, up in the assembly hall we have removed a top layer of wood flooring which was installed in the 1940’s.  It had buckled in areas where the roof leaked and we wanted to get a good look at the condition of the original floor beneath it which is now more than 110 years old.  With the top layer out of the way – we are able to see how it looks sanded…and start to think about stain colors.  It is this floor which will house the Mindfield team later this year.

Check it out.floorstain

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.


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