For half a century, Bldg 180, Sheridan Kaserne, a representative building, once constructed by the German Wehrmacht in the southern corner of the kaserne, was the Officers Club of the U.S. Army. Built in 1934 - 1936, the building was intended to express the NAZI regimes typical architectural ideas of status, grandeur and eternal power.
Due to excellent craftsmanship and an exquisite selection of construction materials like natural stone, red marble, solid oak and wrought iron together with opulent hardware and fixtures, rooms of impressive height with dark wooden cassette ceilings created an excellent location for leisure as well as for representation. No wonder, the U.S. continued to utilize the building as their Officers Club.
The showpiece of the building is the banqueting-hall whose high glazed doors - opening to a slightly elevated wide terrace, overshadowed by huge trees that are as old as the building - together with its colossal mural of the battle on the Lechfeld (AD 955) give the room an almost martial dimension.
A view from the Western lawn area, especially in the warm light of an evening sun, manifests the building’s pride and highlights the differing hip roofs of the various wings of the building.
The northern annex, an inconspicuous and homogenous early U.S. addition to the building, was utilized for receptions, balls and theatre shows - not only for the American soldiers, DA Civilians and their spouses but also for German guests, military and high ranking civilians, politicians and society as well.
Also utilized were the bar rooms in the basement. Artful oak doors led into a number of rooms, some with an impressive vaulted ceiling above a stone floor, one with a beautiful tiled stove, wooden paneling and stained glass windows with witty inscriptions in regard to drinking, together with a beautiful wine cellar and a massive wooden bar. These were wonderful surroundings for drinking and merriment. Again, the NS philosophy was reflected in a seemingly everlasting architecture.
Thus, the Officers Club was an important component of Augburg’s post war history, even when this was not altogether realized by the German public on the other side of the chain link fencing. It is certainly an important part of the American recollection.
Although Bldg 180 is protected by the German Historical Preservation Law since a couple of years, the ongoing neglect of the unused building will further deteriorate its once excellent condition - due to the Army’s responsible and costly restoration and maintenance projects IAW the principles of Historical Preservation for half a century.
A tennis court surrounded by old trees and a helipad emphasized the special character of this sound casino complex.
English summary/text by Heinz Strüber, 03.04.10