The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic



A good friend of ours found this picture in an archive. We have not come across many historic pictures of Detroit’s G.A.R. building (less than a dozen or so). Any time we do – it’s always a great addition to the mix.

The sign on the left says “you can’t eat bombs”

Note the retractable awnings across the front and the G.A.R. letters above the main entrance.


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.

2 thoughts on “STREET CROWD

  1. Love the awnings! They’d add tons of character to the main level shops.

    • Thanks Craig! We agree, they’d add a great historic feel to the facade. We don’t currently have plans to add them back to the building but they may become a necessity, especially in the tavern and diner because of the direct sunlight on the Grand River side of the building. We’ll see how it goes!

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