The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic



DSC_4221With fall quickly approaching, the teams are hard at work getting the systems in place in Detroit’s Grand Army building. A few weekends back, we actually opened a large section of the roof and used a crane to lower part of the building’s HVAC system into place. The crew lifted a half dozen pieces into the attic above what will be Mindfield’s offices. The largest of which weighed about 2500 pounds. Once everything was set in place, the equipment was connected to the duct work and will soon begin pushing hot and cold air. Prior to this you’d stand near a radiator to get warm and an open window to cool off (if you were lucky).DSC_4213DSC_42155 flights below, the electrical team had to build a hoist to lower the main disconnects into place in the basement.. They weighed in at 700 pounds each and would have easily shattered the stairs on the way down. DTE is in the final phase of providing our main power to the building. Soon, we will finally be able to disconnect from the temporary power we’ve had for almost 2 years.DSC_3737DSC_3767Keep an eye out for word of a “grand re-opening event” at the G.A.R. this fall. It’s still in the planning stages, but will be a chance (finally) for people to get in and see the restored spaces in the building. We’re planning a fund raiser to support both a memorial for the Civil War veterans in the building as well as designating funds for Veteran’s organization.DSC_4197It will be a November event, right around Veterans Day. How’s that for timing?

All photos by 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.


  1. Have been searching for up dates, here and on FB, regarding what will fill the buildings niches; am I losing my mad search skills? Has anything been set in stone (no pun intended…initinally)? If not, is it too late to throw Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin into the sorti…um, suggestion hat? All kidding aside, I’ve been enamored by this building for the longest time and am looking forward to the Grand Re-opening.

  2. We have “back burner-ed” the niches for the time being. We will address them down the road, but are currently finding lots of places to spend our funds on the interior renovation. There were never figures included in the first build. Sadly we have
    no reference as to what they veterans were planning. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the G.A.R. this fall.

  3. I do not know whether it’s just me orr iff everyone elsze experiencing problems with your site.
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