The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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glassblock2A big week over at the G.A.R. building in downtown Detroit.  There’s lots of plywood and glass block being hauled off in a dumpster and we’re pulling out replacement stone and moving that into storage.  With the work to restore the arched entry well underway  – we have brought in reinforcement teams to tear out what had filled the storefronts for most of the last century.  As mentioned, we’re finalizing our plans are to completely restore the exterior of the building to its original look and feel.

A quick search on the internet turns up photos and postcards from the early part of the 20th century. We have found great shots of the building with horse drawn carriages riding down dirt streets in front of the G.A.R.  It is from these photos we are drawing our references for the new facade.  We are hoping – barring any unforeseen delays we’ll have photos of the new and improved facade in early April.

Until then – check out these action shots.
storefront2glassblock storefront

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 “LET THERE BE LIGHT…

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