The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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DSC_9048We’ve been joined by a new team on the G.A.R. project in downtown Detroit. It is time to address the condition of the original plaster and see what will stay on the walls and what needs to be replaced over the coming months. Blue Star Demolition is the firm chosen to help with this stage of the work.DSC_9098An engineer came through last week and marked all the walls. The red spray paint calls out which plaster can stay and which has to go. Although the building was actually pretty well sealed by the city, over the years “explorers” left doors and hatches open and the elements had there way on the inside.DSC_9119DSC_9086This week there is another team going floor to floor and removing the weak plaster from the walls and ceilings. They started in the assembly hall on the 4th floor of the building. When completed, this space will become Mindfield’s new studio.DSC_9111DSC_9091

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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