For years we have walked through the lobby of the G.A.R. building in Detroit and wondered what once sat up on the newel at the base of the stairs. The sides have ornate wood carvings but the top is unfinished. Something clearly sat atop it once
but we have had no pictures to tell us what to replace and how to finish it.
This past week – we found the answer. Quite unexpectedly.The 3 of us are often asked out to speak about the renovation of the castle. When schedules allow between Mindfield and family events, we like to go out and tell the building’s story (and get people excited to eat in Republic and the Parks and Rec diner).
This past week we were with a group in Grosse Point and at the close of the evening a woman approached us, said she used to work for the city, would visit the different Parks and Rec centers and had fond memories of walking though the G.A.R..Then she hit us with the question “Does the carved pineapple still sit at the base of the stairs?”
“WHAT?”, we asked…
“The pineapple, is it still in the lobby?” she repeated.
In a single moment, she had unknowingly helped us solve one of the biggest mysteries we had to date in the building’s renovations.
Sometimes you have to leave a place to learn things about it.
P.S. – If anyone has any information leading to the recovery and replacement (and verification) of the original wooden pineapple we will gladly arrange for a delicious, real pineapple dessert to be prepared specifically for you by Republic’s Chef de Excellence, Kate Williams! Yum!
All photos by Lindsey Yeo