The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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DSC_9217This past Friday, the team did another walk-thru at Detroit’s G.A.R. building and discussed the final layout for the Republic Tavern.  After month’s of creating floor plans for the restaurant and then changing them, and then moving them around again, it was time to commit to the space and move things forward.  The black spray paint on the floor outlines the location of the bar.DSC_9261Today, the concrete saw arrived.DSC_9268We’re told that initially the G.A.R. building was designed with a full basement.  At one point however, the decision was made to include an elevator and the funds for that were taken, in part, from the monies set aside for the basement.  Ultimately, the basement makes up about half of the floor plate.  There is very little basement under the planned tavern.DSC_9316 Given that, the team is now tearing up the floor.  As we look to add beer taps at the bar and drains in the bathrooms, trenches must be dug to create the space for the pipes and tubing.DSC_9303 If you look closely in some of the photos you can see the original storefronts which we have re-created.  The openings are almost floor to ceiling and will ring the restaurants on all sides of the building.

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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