The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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As found, the original mechanical system in Detroit’s G.A.R. building consisted of steam pipes, wire run between floor joists and only a handful of water pipes scattered across the 4 floors. To update the HVAC and provide ventilation for the restaurants, our team is creating a shaft to run the height of the building.DSC_8350The cutting of floors and ceilings alike took place this week. The new chase starts in the ceiling of the first floor and runs up through the assembly hall, up passed the balcony and into the attic.DSC_8311The building layout allowed for the shaft in the middle of the each floor plate. Fortunately it takes little away from usable space of each floor.
DSC_8307Elsewhere, we’ve ordered our system’s equipment.DSC_8318Now we wait on the bigger pieces including the elevator and HVAC system. Mid summer, those deliveries should happen and the teams can begin connecting the dots.

Photos by Mindfield’s 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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