The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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Our team’s have been chipping away at all aspects of bringing the restaurant outlets on-line at Detroit’s G.A.R. building.Diner constructionLast week the team toured a number of Chicago restaurants checking out design cues and the latest in popular fares in that market. 3 days and probably 25 different diners, bars and restaurants stirred the imagination of the chef, GM and interior designer. (Not to mention Sean, Tom and David)

Meanwhile back here, the work has been just a productive, if not a lot messier. Our crew has wrapped the final round of demo in the space which will become the diner.GAR workerThe last of the original ceiling was too far damaged to be saved for future use, the plaster and lathe was destroyed by years of rain and snow falling through the turret hatch opening.Removing plaster and lathThe teams have placed plywood along the exterior walls to prevent damage to the glass, the entire exterior was restored in 2013.Cast Iron RadiatorsThere were still 20 to 30 cast iron radiators left in the G.A.R. (scrappers seem to leave those behind). Here are a dozen waiting to be recycled.

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.

One thought on “THE DINER

  1. Great work, you all! Can’t wait to see it finished.

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