The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic


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Thanks go out to “patriotblue1” for catching us on the correct year which the veterans Grand Army of the Republic organization officially dissolved. We are admittedly “newbies” on Grand Army facts, having only come into the history with the purchase of the castle. Our apologies.

The last Michigan member of the G.A.R. passed away in 1951. The final member of the a whole to pass, Albert Woolson, died in 1956.

Thanks for keeping us on our toes.

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.

One thought on “CORRECTION…

  1. Just thought i would clear up some of your “fuzzy math” on the history the GAR in Michigan and the Detroit GAR Hall. The last Michigan member of the GAR was Orlando LeValley of Caro. When he passed on April 19th 1948, the Department of Michigan GAR by theory of having no members, went out of exsistence. The National Secretary of the GAR, Cora Gillis requested that the Department of Michigan GAR not close its books, as Michigan was the host ,for the 1948 National Encampment. Michigan GAR Department Secretary, Leah Simpson held the 70th Annual Encampment Department of Michigan with no members. Joesph Clovese a Civil War veteran from Louisianna moved to Michigan in late 1948 or early 1949, to live with his niece in Pontiac. The Department of Michigan GAR was closed at this time, so Leah Simpsom enrolled Mr. Clovese as a Member at Large. Mr Clovese passed away in early 1951. So while Mr Clovese was a member of the GAR who lived in Michigan ,in his final years, he was never a member of the Department of Michigan GAR as it was out of exsistence when he moved to Michigan. As for the GAR Hall in Detroit it was closed in early 1980 or 1981. The Daughters of Civil War Veterans were the last of the Allied Orders to meet in the building and on their authority cleaned out the building. Daughters President Thelma Zimmerman and Secretary Rosemary Petrica along with myself as Department Commander of the Sons of Union Veterans went to the building and cleaned it out. The Daughters voted by each Tent to authorize this. We met Dr Phoenix of Fort Wayne with his assistant. Dr Phoenix was given permission to take what he wanted in ralation to the historical artifacts. The only push back that happened was when he wanted a couple pieces of furniture and was told “NO”, things got a little indignant, but of course Mrs Petrica came out on top. It is such a SHAME that you show worthless whiskey bottles as artifacts from the GAR Hall as they are nothing more than garbage thrown in a deserted building reflecting VERY POORLY on the brave men who fought to keep our Country united. The owneres should show a little more respect to the former occupants of such a great building and its members by displaying artifacts that were actuall used by the veterans not the whiskey bottles of the drunks and vandals who totall disrespected the property.

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