Historical Building 241 - The Guardhouse, 1893

Historical Building 241 - The Guardhouse, 1893 (HM1ROC)

Location: Fort Bliss, TX 79906 El Paso County
Country: United States of America

N 31° 48.692', W 106° 26.267'

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Captain George Ruhlen designed a series of buildings along a central parade field for the newly appointed Fort Bliss at Lanoria Mesa. Building 241 originally served as the guardhouse for Fort Bliss and is a contributing element of the Fort Bliss Historic District. Constructed on the west side of the Parade Field in 1893, Building 241 received all incoming and outgoing traffic. Building 241 is one of the first buildings constructed at Fort Bliss and is significant for its association with the Initial Construction Period, 1891-1899.

Building 241 is a one story structure with a basement built in the Neoclassical Style. Constructed of handmade yellow brick with a stone foundation and hipped roof with a central shed dormer, building 241 featured a louvered monitor. The wooden front porch and transom windows provide an exterior view of the Parade Field.

The original main floor of the Guardhouse included a square floor plan which was divided into a guard room and jail. The guardroom faced east towards the parade field. Offices and bathrooms flanked the large main room. The jail contained two iron cells and was located on the west side of the building. One cell was dedicated to sentenced prisoners and the second was designated for individuals awaiting sentence. Iron lattice work composed the walls and ceiling of the cell cages.

Over the years, Building 241 was adaptively reused to serve as an administrative building, a post office and a military police building. In addition to new uses, several new technologies replaced traditional methods in the early 20th century. Electricity replaced the kerosene and coal oil lamps and a natural gas boiler and radiators were installed in 1928. In 1953, composition shingles replaced the original metal shingles. Despite the replacement of a few original elements, the historic spacial configuration of the guardroom and jail remain today and provides insight to the daily activities of the guardhouse occupants.

In 2010, the original exterior architectural features of Building 241 were restored. The louvered monitor was reconstructed and installed on the peak of the hipped roof. In addition, the transom windows and wood steps of the front porch were restored. Building 241 remains a historically significant resource through its context and architecture in the understanding of Fort Bliss' initial development at Lanoria Mesa.
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Date Added Thursday, April 14th, 2016 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13R E 363910 N 3520446
Decimal Degrees31.81153333, -106.43778333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 48.692', W 106° 26.267'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 48' 41.52" N, 106° 26' 16.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)915
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1416 Sheridan Rd, Fort Bliss TX 79906, US
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