The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic



It kinda’ looks like a pineapple.

Some time ago we met a woman who used to work in the G.A.R. building in downtown Detroit.

She came up to us after an event and was curious to know if the pineapple was still at the base of the stairs in the main lobby. We were ecstatic at the time – because we had no pictures of the lobby and no idea what to replace in the spot where a pineapple once stood.

We’ve mentioned the hall has been slowly revealing itself to us over the years… almost like a veiled dancer. She’s let another veil drop this week.

We’re told this photo was taken in the 1970’s. Notice the directory in the background and, of course, the pineapple.


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 “IF YOU SQUINT

  1. Very cool discovery as you continue
    to authenticate this wonderful building!
    Davis Sabo

  2. Hey that’s a nice pineapple ya got!

  3. Wow! How lucky are you to have such an awesome “before” picture for your album!! I sure look forward to seeing it in person some day. Hopefully a new pineapple will be in place!

  4. Now that you have a photo of the original finial. I bet that this company could make you one:

  5. I’m following the progress of renovating this historic building (which I have sadly seen deteriorate over years), and await with excitement the opening of the new restaurant here. Could I learn when Republic restaurant is slated to open? Would love to try it.

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