The G.A.R. Building Detroit

The Grand Army of the Republic

AND SHE’S BUYING A STAIRCASE…

6 Comments

DSC_8397Somehow, after more than 100 years and 30 years worth of break-ins, the stairway at Detroit’s G.A.R. building remained almost entirely intact. Our teams may have replaced 12 spindles. Aside from that, the work done to them was about stripping the wood and refinishing the stain and protective coating.DSC_8382Before the common areas become too cluttered with “finishing touches” we thought we’d show off what is currently the highlight… the staircase.DSC_8373These photos will lead you from the lobby up to the third floor.DSC_8367Imagine the aged men with white hair steadying themselves as the climbed these steps and met with their fellow Civil War veterans.DSC_8349(Note: we do have a replacement “pineapple”for the lobby – it’s being stored a bit longer as we still have trades carrying gear past where it will live)

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.

6 thoughts on “AND SHE’S BUYING A STAIRCASE…

  1. Looks so beautiful. Wonderful to see such fine restoration work.

  2. What a beautiful thing…I am so thrilled to be a part of the Grand Army of the Republic building restoration via email…thank you so very much

  3. Beautgiful staircase.. and beautiful feature story in the current issue of HOUR magazine. Thanks Jeff for sending the updates.

  4. Awesome! I had seen the staircase through the windows the last time we were at the Republic. Fantastic job restoring them.

    I have a question, what were the 6 holes in the riser board on the left for on the third landing in pic #1??? Do you know?

    • Good eye! That might be the million dollar question, Stephen. I stare at those everyday when I walk in. As of yet, we have not figured that one out.

  5. My guess is that the 6 holes are left over from an old anchor point. As the veterans aged, someone may have installed an early lift system to help them get up and down the stairs.

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