The Grand Army of the Republic hall.

Richardsonian Romanesque
(i.e. castle building – heh..)

Closed in 1980

1942 Grand River Avenue

Designed by Julius Hess, completed in 1900 just after his death.
Completed by Richard Raseman.

The largest G.A.R. hall in Michigan in its day – an old style Veterans hall for yearly reunions and events sponsored by American Civil War Union Army vets.

The GAR sits on a very restrictive triangular lot, which gives the floor plan design its distinct wedge shape. This room is at ground level.

One of the arched shape doorways from inside.

Further upstairs on a higher level floor we see the point of the wedge in a front room.

The GAR was primarily meeting spaces, with light commercial stores at ground level.

Towards the top floor we see the results of water damage to the interior plaster work.

The balcony of the main meeting room

The main stage. Hard to believe all those vets stood right here back in the day – guys who saw more than any of us could imagine in their war.

Back down stairs we see the interior of the front doors.

The interior door at the peak of the wedge shape.

Something I heard about but had to search a bit for – the GAR/Flag symbol in tile work on the floor.

10 Responses to Grand Army of the Republic

  • I just saw a story at Freep.com today, 26Sep06, saying the city wants to sell the building for $220K, and there’s an estimate of $1M to restore it. I was hoping I’d be able to find interior photos and found yours. Thank you immensely!
    Greg

  • I believe it is owned by the city, but Mr. Illitch owns the rights to develop it.

  • This place definitely needs to be restored. I hope you’re successful in getting it Bree.

  • I went to the libary to look up this building and it was described so diffrently. I have wanted this building since 1990.

  • I tried to buy this place at least once a week for a year, but no one knows exactly who owns it! any suggestions?

  • Oh, sweet! I’ve always wondered what it looked like in there. It’s a beautiful building and such a shame its not in use – or at least kept up.

    (BTW/FYI I can’t visit your site from work anymore. It’s blocked because it’s a “music” site. Heh.)

  • awed into submission, as usual, dF! Excellent!

  • Mainstream ? Oh yeah – I agree. But I have this stuff so I thought id throw some up there. Getting warm out, so there lots of new shots coming up as well.

  • Damn dFunk, you’re producing updates on all the “famous” abandoned buildings…very mainstream.

  • Love these latest installs, great work as always! You have an excellent eye/perspective. Thank you dF.