The US Army Base / Kaserne




On July 9, 2007, the American army left the Babenhausen Kaserne forever. Since then, the buildings and grounds are being left unattended, weed grown, and falling apart. Since many of the buildings date back to 1900 and were built by the citizens of Babenhausen and are listed as historical monuments, it's a real shame to see what is happening to them.  But there is hope of an investor being found and the area given back a purpose.... hopefully not too late.

There are a number of sites with pictures of the Kaserne in days gone by. I'll list the addresses below my entry. Since I don't have any pictures of my own, I'll leave that to others. The pictures below I took on August 11, 2011, during a pre-tour of the Kaserne for preparing the Babenhausen "tour guides" for an opening house on Germany's "Day of Historical Monuments" set for September 11, 2011. With the help of the info sheet, handed out by the "Heimat & Geschichtsverein" (Historical Society), I will try to explain what each building is and perhaps tell a bit of it's history.




On September 11, 2001, we had the open house, which was a BIG success. There were a number of organisational problems, but in general it went well. In three tours we had perhaps over 300 people take part. Jimmy McKenna and I worked as a keeping the people in check, Jimmy doing talking about the history. I've added pictures to my collection below that I took on that day.


The housing gate, located between the housing area and the nursery school, as viewed from the B26. I found it interesting that the "Road condition" sign was still there!




Once upon a time, children played on this equipment. This is the backyard of the nursery/kindergarden. I remember attending brownie meetings there with my daughter a couple of times.


The Chapel


Our first stop was the chapel. It was in better condition then I expected, at least the wooden floors and red carpet were ok, but you can see lots of moisture stains on the ceilings. Surprisingly the light fixtures were left.... most of the buildings are stripped bare of everything.


On September 11, 2011, the chapel was the main meetings place for all the tours as well as display and information center. Here the Mayor of Babenhausen, Gabi Coutandin, and others made opening speeches and talked about the future plans for the Kaserne. These plans will be presented at the EXPO in Munich in October with the hopes of finding someone to invest in the grounds.


On our way to the next stop we went passed the MP and fire department buildings as well as the recreation center (right photo with water tower in the background). I spent many hours at the place, participating in various activities. It was also there that I founded the "Witches and Wizards Square Dance Club", which still exists today, dancing now in Rodgau. Unfortunately this was one of the buildings we were unable to visit.

MP and fire department building

Recreation center


The Old Water Tower


Next stop was the old water tower. The stairs going up will not be allowed to climb since it would be too dangerous. As you can see, they don't look very inviting. But the original water pumps can be viewed.



On our way to our next stop we went passed the commisary and px, as well as the library and thrift shop.


These buildings were not officially open on the Open House, but some people discovered that the doors were open and went inside..... I didn't (unfortunately).




Behind these bushes is the former Burger King


Stars and Stripes book store

Thrift Shop



The Officer's Club


I always enjoyed my visits to the Officer's Club. I was often invited to a dinner, especially during holidays like Christmas or Halloween. I remember one Halloween visiting the "Haunted House" that was set up in the cellar. We also had meetings here of the German-American women's group, "Monday Mädchen".


 viewed from the east, looking west



viewed from the west, looking East... to the right, the Officer's Club, to the left, the "Railgunner's Arms" 

the rear (south side) of the Officer's Club.....

.... through which we entered.

the chandeliers are still hanging!


the Bar

the Ladies Room


viewed from the stairwell, looking toward the main room

the main entrance, Officer's club



We then walked passed the headquarters building, on our way to the main office building and former commander's home when the Kaserne was first built in 1900.

Some of you may have heard the tales of the ghost of Mrs. Müller and some soldiers who supposedly have been seen, and heard, roaming the upper floors of the headquarters building. You can read an interesting tale here: Mrs. Müller

the old "Main Gate"



The Main Office / Former Commander's home


This was once the commander's home when the Kaserne was originally built. During the time I knew the Kaserne, it was the main office next to the main gate where I had to get my base pass. It was also here that the German-American relations offices were. Between 1997-2007 there was a Veteran's Museum installed but I never got to visit it.

The 1st Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, "Gridsmashers", Babenhausen, Germany, was deactivated in a full military ceremony in April 25, 2006. It was the last artillery unit left in Babenhausen, which will soon have no American military units at all. I attended the ceremony, which was when the lower right picture was taken. Sad to see it all gone (except for the guns).



The "Railgunners Arms"


The RG was the station "hotel" for visiting guests. I had never been in there before (well, I lived only 5 minutes away) so this place was new for me. Since most plagues have been removed, it was interesting to see one still nailed to one of the doors. There wasn't much to take pictures of in there, but it was still intersting to see.


Parade Ground


On our way back to the housing gate we passed by the old gate, which I think was never used during the time the Americans were stationed here, as well as a few other buildings, the former barracks. This was the parade ground area.


We also passed another monument, now fully discolored and forlorn. One plague was still there, but almost unreadable.


building 4510


"Trade Winds" NCO Club and former Mess Hall


Both the Trade Winds and the Mess Hall were not on our official tour list. As I found out later, the Trade Winds WAS open and some people went in. The Mess Hall, as Jimmy and I discovered, was also open and yes, we DID go in.....


The repair shops


Also not a part of the tour but open were the huge repair shops south of the Mess Hall.



The "new" water Tower and Barracks






up-dated: 12.09.2011