The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic



DSC_0834The salvage “Gods” smiled on Detroit’s G.A.R. building during the years which it sat vacant. Many of the empty buildings in the city (or any city) usually were torn apart by scrappers in search of anything sell-able. While the G.A.R. was hardly left untouched, we realize it could have been a lot worse than it is.DSC_1032When the teams started assessing the elevator, they were pleased to see the shape it was in. It’s best days were behind it, but there are original elements we will actually use alongside the new system. We’re told the new system is currently being engineered at a plant somewhere in the south. In the meantime, the crew on site is prepping the elevator shaft to make room for new gear.DSC_0836Gone are the old electrical runs, the cables and wheels and original doors. We will re-use the rails within the shaft and the somewhat ornate ceiling section from the cab. And of course, anything else we can re-purpose as a design element will stay in the building. Keep an eye out for it.DSC_0839Here are a few shots of the team at work.DSC_1034

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.

2 thoughts on “ISAAC HAYES

  1. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy these updates – this building has always been what I told everyone would be “my future home”.  I never had the funds to make the G.A.R. building my home, but I am thrilled that you are bringing her back to life.

    Thanks!  Linda Leuch

  2. Thanks for following along Linda, we appreciate all of our supporters!

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