The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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DSC_2057Not really, actually. Hopefully the new sprinkler system will be the most underutilized piece of equipment in the building. It’s going in either way – and for the first time in 115 years, there will be a fire suppression system in Detroit’s G.A.R. building.DSC_2051We’ve been told by some, that “back in the day” some of the ravers in the building would start fires on the lobby floor to stay warm. There remains soot on a few of the ceilings as proof of those stories. Fortunately, that was the worst of the damage left behind.DSC_2047The team from Falcon Fire Protection is working with us to hang lots and lots of steel pipe throughout the castle. They’re wasting no time as the second floor is done now and they’re on to the next.DSC_2043Before long, they’ll turn a valve or 2 and we’ll have water for “just in case”.

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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