People passing through Grand River and Cass might mistake the castle building on the triangular corner as an old relic of Detroit's 18th century past as part of New France. In fact, it's the former building of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), a sort of veterans club for soldiers of the Civil War's Union Army. Today's VFW halls just don't stand up to this beaut, do they? Long empty, the building was recently purchased by Detroit creative studio Mindfield. The company is currently in the midst of an expensive rehab of this Detroit classic that should finish by fall 2013.
David Carleton co-founded Mindfield in 2000, the company responsible for many of the productions found at Detroit's annual auto show. After purchasing and renovating Detroit's Library Lofts, the company decided the G.A.R. was the next logical step. He says it's a "once-in-a-lifetime rehabilitation project. It is unmatched in historic significance, architectural design and potential for a media firm." David tells us that the company is performing a complete rehab of the structure, necessary since it's been vacant for 30 years. He also says that while Mindfield will take up most of the space, the company is open to the idea of some like-minded firms who appreciate the what the building is about.
It sounds like Mindfield's treating this old beauty right and we're excited to see it happen. Not surprisingly, we're not the only ones. David says the building has received "A nationwide outpouring of support for our work. This is one very loved building. It is exciting to be the team heading up the renovation."
· Grand Army of the Republic Building [Historic Detroit]
· G.A.R. Rehab Blog [GAR Posterous]
· Mindfield Creative Studios [Mindfield]
· RenovationWatch [Curbed Detroit]