The Gudin barracks is a particularly representative example of the many barracks erected in the years 1875-1880, on a standard plan enacted in 1874, as part of the policy of strengthening and modernizing the armed forces, initiated by the Third Republic, after the defeat of Prussia in 1870.
While following this standard plan, the Gudin barracks is distinguished by its architectural features, which make it original:
- elevation of four blind attic levels (instead of the three traditional attic levels);
- highly sought-after ornamentation: modillion cornice surmounted by a crenellation common on all the facades; polychrome treatment of the frames of bays and pilasters punctuating the spans of stairs.
From 1945 to 1995, the barracks housed the École militaire d'application des transmissions, and from 1995 until the site was decommissioned in 2009, a gendarmerie school. It was transferred by the State in 2019 to the Agglomération montargoise et rives du Loing.
The central building, called de l'Horloge, being threatened with demolition as part of a development project that would have caused the Gudin barracks to lose its heritage and historical readability, the complex was the subject of a decision of the Board of Appeal on July 21, 2021, followed by a measure of inscription under the title of historical monuments by order of 16 February 2022.
At its meeting on 21 April 2022, the National Committee on Heritage and Architecture unanimously voted in favour of the classification, if necessary ex officio, the facades and roofs of the three buildings surrounding the Place d'Armes and the two reception pavilions, the Place d'Armes, the gate and the entrance gate.
The agreement of the owner having not been obtained, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak has decided, by decree in Council of State, to classify automatically the barracks Gudin, In this way, it is protected in a way that is commensurate with its historical interest and thus ensures its preservation.
The Gudin Barracks is the first barracks built according to the 1874 model to be classified as a historic monument. This classification will ensure the conditions for a conversion of buildings in respect of their heritage interest.