Grand Army of the Republic Hall
Other Name: G.A.R. Building
1942 Grand River Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226
Public Access: No
National Register Date: February 13, 1986
About the Grand Army of the Republic Hall
The G.A.R. Building is significant to Detroit and Michigan for being in historical and architectural terms the pre-eminent G.A.R. hall building in the entire state of Michigan. Built in 1897 to 1900, the building is a notable example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Detroit, and is a very important work of its architect, Julius Hess, who designed a large number of imposing churches in Detroit in the late nineteenth century. It is by far the largest G.A.R. hall ever constructed in Michigan. The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was founded in 1866 as a society for men who fought for the North in the Civil War. Detroit and Michigan veterans' groups lobbied the City of Detroit to erect for them a memorial meeting building in 1891. The building was erected at a cost of $44,000 with $38,000 coming from the sale of city bonds. From the time of its opening, the G.A.R. Building was utilized as a gathering place for parties, dances, weekly or monthly meetings, and celebrations of national holidays by various veterans' groups. The Detroit Parks and Recreation Department took over the building in 1943 for use as a recreation center. During the 1980s, the structure was sold to private developers."