Old Fort Bliss Barracks

Heading up Fred Wilson Boulevard, there’s an entrance into Fort Bliss for William Beaumont Army Medical Center.  What’s interesting is a large collection of largely unused old barracks and a lone empty chapel, baking in the west Texas sun.

The first 3 easily accessible buildings are right across from a parking lot, making it easy to check out.  Given that this is an active part of base, I heeded all trespass warnings and didn’t check to see if any of the buildings were open.  Plus who knows why these aren’t in use, there’s probably all sorts of contaminants like lead or asbestos inside.  At the very least there were large piles of nasty pigeon poop all over the place, so I stuck to the dirt.

The 3 barrack buildings were all the same construction in various states of disrepair.  It’s too bad they can’t be used for some more interesting purpose.  Donald Judd’s Chinati comes to mind. Down the way was a small boarded up chapel.

Upon closer inspection, the front door that was boarded up had been kicked in, exposing the interior:

Looking in, you could tell it was completely empty so I didn’t venture any farther than my lens would go.  A curious feature was the bridge to the entrance which I guess in the past would have had water.   There were probably lots of past marriages here with lots of photo opportunities.

I didn’t want to get stopped and asked  a bunch of questions, so it was time to bug out.  After grabbing a few more shots, I headed out.  The full set can be seen on flickr here: Old Barracks on Fort Bliss

8 thoughts on “Old Fort Bliss Barracks”

    1. I had saw them last weekend during my “lunch break” from the GUN SHOW. I may be remembering incorrectly, but as a kid I seem to recall my dad taking Community Collage Classes somewhere around here

  1. Just to the west of the barracks there is actually a rather large gymnasium that is in a similar state of disrepair. Last time I was there, the door and been kicked in and the board covering it removed, so I poked my head inside. very interesting, the walls still retain the original mural paintings and the basketball court is still mostly intact, as well as a stage at one end of the gymnasium.

  2. Great pictures. Those “barracks” type buildings were hospital wards. Different buildings were for different “illnesses” In hospitals today, they would be different “floors”. My Dad spent a long time here. The old Beaumont was built like a “campus hospital”

      1. On really hot days, they would push the hospital beds out on the porches so patients could get some breeze, health permitting.

  3. I just came across these photos. My parents took me to Beaumont a few times in late 50’s and early 60’s when the entire facility was a collection of wooden structures. It wasn’t a hospital in the traditional sense, like the current concrete structures up the hill. When I had my tonsils removed, I remember being wheeled outside on a gurney between one building (surgery?) and another (recovery?). I guess if it rained, patients just got wet.

    Speaking of wet, the bridge in front of the chapel would rarely have water under it. Since Beaumont was built at the base of the Franklin Mountains, culverts were needed to handle rushing water during heavy rainstorms that created flash flooding from the mountains once or twice a year. The rest of the time the grounds were bone dry.

Let me know what you think!