The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic



GAR_xmasPostIt’s been an exciting year for us here at Mindfield. We are in the final stages of planning the new studio for our team at the Grand Army building here in Detroit.

Outside and all around us the neighborhood is popping. DTE plans to start work on their park across from us in the spring, the Red Wings broke ground on a new arena just a few blocks to our north and of course, a team is being put together to create 2 great new restaurants inside the G.A.R.. If all goes accordingly, Republic and the Parks & Rec Diner will begin welcoming guests in the early weeks of 2015.

As important as all of that is, as we enter into the holiday season, we are taking time to reflect not only on the men whom this building was meant to honor but also all the men and women who have served our country in the time since. The “castle” is an amazing structure and we’re proud to be the team which is restoring it to it’s former glory, however, we ask that no one lose sight of the “why” it was built.

The Detroit Free Press ran an article in February of 1887 – 12 years before construction of the G.A.R. even began. In it was written that the hall would ultimately serve “to perpetuate the memories of all soldiers who ever aided to put down the rebellion”. While the U.S. has not seen a conflict exactly like the Civil War since, countless men, women and their families have continued to make great sacrifices to protect our nation.

We at Mindfield and the entire team at the Grand Army of the Republic building offer up our gratitude to all U.S.veterans and all those serving on active duty around the globe today.

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.

5 thoughts on “HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

  1. Happy Holidays to you as well!
    As a 30 yr old veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, this post means a lot. To me Veterans are often looked at, as down-and-out charity cases, or we get the hollow, seemingly mandatory, “Thank You for your Service.” There’s nothing better than this post, and your appreciation for this structure’s history. Thank you for restoring the G.A.R Building and for honoring the folks this building was built to serve. Whenever my parents drove me past that building, I would stare at it in amazement–it’s beautiful. May it serve you well for the years to come.
    Ps – I cant wait to check out Chef Williams’ restaurants.

  2. Nice posting! Yes, it is truly about our men and women in uniform- past, present, and future. May it ever be so.

  3. Happy holidays to you. and hat’s off to you gentlemen for not only preserving this gorgeous work of art, but also preserving the reason it was built in the first place.

  4. Excellent article! We are linking to this great article on our
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