Civil War buffs and supporters of the city’s Grand Army of the Republic Hall at 58 Andrew St. came together Monday night to rededicate the building, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
“For Civil War buffs the post is one of the most impressive around,” said Dexter Bishop, a volunteer with the GAR for the past 25-30 years, adding there are 1,243 members of the post, mostly from Lynn.
Mayor Thomas McGee led the ceremony with a speech as the orator. A vacant chair ceremony was also held in remembrance of those who died in the Civil War.
Also known as the Frederick W. Lander Post No. 5 (one of 210 GAR posts in Massachusetts), the hall was built in 1885 by members of the Grand Army of the Republic, to be used as a meeting hall and a memorial to the Union Army veterans of the Civil War.
The Main Hall on the third floor of the building, which is also a museum, is 56 feet by 46 feet filled with original furnishing and hundreds of photographs of local Civil War veterans.
Originally, funds for the building were raised by local Civil War veterans for what was then the largest GAR Post in the country.
Right now the building is in some serious need of work and the Friends of the GAR are trying to raise a portion of the $3.5 million needed to fix the building, which is owned by the city. The staging currently outside the building is for safety reasons.