Hafer-Schloss

Everybody may dream, for example about living in another place. Touring some lists on the web of sellable houses and monuments I found this – The Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart sells a building in the Landkreis of Schwäbisch Hall, in a village (‘scuse me : town) called Gerabronn (Ger., Eng.) The building’s address is Amlishagener Straße 16 (look for yourself if you like, there are some pics on google maps). It’s in a state of disrepair (sanierungsbedürftig) – what can mean anything from “burn it down” to “just fix that hole”.
Burning down would be a bit difficult, because the house is built from concrete in 1912 – I think it is built from what is called “Stampfbeton“, that means without the metal-innards (“Spannbeton”, Ger., Eng.). As the description says it has five storeys and one cellar, gives circa 2.800 square meters of living space (what equals roughly 460 square meters for each of the six storeys – the average one family house has notably less around here !) and comes with more than forty thousand square meters of land ; it was originally built as “Mühlengebäude” and used as grain storage facility, what possibly means large interior spaces. I read somewhere that it was capable of holding 15 thousand tons of grain. Actually it is seemingly used for storing tea. It once was used by the federal state for storing food (“Bundesvorratslager“, here), for the case of emergency. (These storing points are very interesting and need a history of their own. I know of at least four different locations of these installations.) I have not found a picture of the inside.
It’s big and comes with a nice little tower, and a giant green, the former industrial area as it seems.
What industry ?
It was constructed in 1912 for the “Nährmittelfabrik Schüle-Hohenlohe“. Schüle started as a kind of bakery in Plüderhausen (Ger., Eng.) in the valley of the river Rems, near Stuttgart, in 1854. They basically made noodles (“Eierteigwaren”, it’s Suebia after all !), bought their first “Teigmaschine” in 1863 and it took off – they had up to 700 workers before WWI. It seems that they operated under the name of “Hohen-Lohesche Nährmittel AG”. I am not sure how the connection was made to the “Casseler Haferkakao-Fabrik Hausen”, but there definitely was one – I think they were merged through WWI, but what I read on the web is not accurate about this. But how ever it was, this company (known in the area as “die Schüle”) existed from the 1920s to 1957.
They had in their assortement

” … Eiernudeln, Makkaroniröhrchen und Suppeneinlagen. Die Hohenlohe hatte Haferflocken, Mehl, Grütze und Suppe, Paniermehl, Maismehl, Tapioka, Suppenwürfel und Kakao in ihrem Sortiment. Schließlich gab es auch noch den Hafer-Kakao der Kasseler Hafer-Kakaofabrik Hausen &Co. GmbH. Im Werk Kassel wurden Haferflocken, Suppen und Kindernährmittel hergestellt.”

I like that. They produced any kind of food made from grain. Tons and tons of grain must have gone through this building. The roof seems to be in good order ; looking at pictures at google maps I can not detect water damage from the ground – it’s just a very very large building sitting empty in the middle of nowhere, the (wonderful) Hohenlohe.
One could get it for a dime – but replacing all the nearly one-hundred windows alone would cost a fortune. Forget “taking care” of the garden : one would have to draw a sketch of it first & design that thing … ach … ‘mer derf doch noch dräum’ …

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21 thoughts on “Hafer-Schloss

  1. Good to know LX. Last time I looked there was a hairdresser next door, and the police station is a neighbour too. Wonder whether Ricardo can deliver a real hot pizza into the fifth storey ?

    Is’n DIng, eh ? The turret gives that castle-impression, makes it look a bit “Victorian”. It gives me the air of absolutely nothing “military” – die haben Haferflocken gemacht – giebt’s was friedlicheres als Haferflocken ? The heating bill – oh darling … I guess this would only work if one would install a little Kraftwerk in the basement, and still heat only parts of some storeys … what basically is possible. The two upper storeys, heating, hot water, electricity, a small Hauskraftwerk would do. Or if need be – a Kanonenofen or two … but only to replace the windows, insulating the roof (it’s large !) and taking care for modern Leitungen and standards through the whole building would cost as much as building one or two new houses. And yes, then there’s the ghost … but one could plan & plant a nice garden, dear Foam … one would never have to buy greeneries again !

  2. No, it’s all Blogger’s fault. I have been having that trouble for months.

    Do this for the first Blogger comment of a browser session: “Comment as” > [select profile]. Type something minimal as the comment, such as a single character. Click “Preview.” Your comment will disappear. Now you can preview and publish your comments for the remainder of the browser session.

  3. On eBay, I have seen schools for sale – so cheap you wouldn’t even believe it. A couple thousand dollars. One time I saw a roller rink for sale.

    My old boss – her uncle bought an old school in a rural area – I think it was a used up coal mining town. The uncle turned the school’s cafeteria into a little restaurant, and he rented out the class rooms to people who wanted to do crafting workshops and stuff. He lived in one part of the school too.

    Yeah, the repairs on a place like that – like repairs of a furnace – super duper expensive.

  4. If it were Britain, it would be bought for conversion into flats at absurdly inflated prices, or maybe a hotel. But I suppose it all depends on local economic circumstances. Could this be a commuter town where more flats would be marketable, or somewhere where someone could set up what we call “live-work” accommodation for start-up businesses or artists/craftsmen? Or would the conversion costs simply make that impractical?

  5. So it is possibly cookie-related LX ?

    In some remote areas of Upper-Franconia, like the Fichtelgebirge, or other such regions, one can buy now and then a school-house. I wouldn’t. These buildings are most commonly built in the 19th century, without a cellar, using sandstone. What means that they are wet, at least the basement and the ground-floor. And one will not get this wetness out of the walls, it’s a receipt for desaster, because mold (or other forms of corruption) are imminent – if you do not already have respiratory problems you will acquire them living in such a structure for 12 months. The good thing is that these houses were meant to have at least two large rooms, the former class-rooms, usually one on the ground-level, one upstairs ; and usually there was the appartement for the teacher and his family built in.
    But all in all, Happy Apathy – it is a small wet house in the cold middle of nowhere.

    Gerabronn is a nice little town on the Hohenlohe-plain – there is nothing in reach where one could commute to in an acceptable time. The next larger rural town is Schwäbisch Hall, I don’t believe that it’s very much larger than Gerabronn. Next cities would be Nürnberg, possibly Heilbronn, Stuttgart. Train connection is not the best, driving by car means at least an hour each direction, possibly more. In the case of Nürnberg and Heilbronn over congested and dangerous Autobahnen, no fun, believe me.
    I do not know enough about the local scene of artists & craftsmen, but I think the few in the area would find it pretty difficult to rent space there. I knew some folks in the region, they sat on pretty ruinous old farms with large barns, living more or less from hand to mouth, planting stuff for recreational use in the garden. Don’t believe that it changed much.
    A hotel ? No way – one would never get it full or reach a point where it could perhaps bring in as much as a conversion would cost, not in my lifetime. And regarding tourism – I can’t believe that the Hohenlohe is run over by tourists now – it’s a still quiet land, and that’s because I like it.
    I have not seen this house and did not find plans of it (Grundrisse o.ä), so we have no idea about the interior. What one would need to tackle is roof & insulation (there are some new regulations out), modern heating & hot water, electrics. I think that the structure is basically sound, dry and without water damage. The windows are seemingly original, only partly new, not damaged. What is new are the emergency exits via spiral metal stairways at two ends of the building ; for these new doors were broken through the walls, what is a possibility for damage. Built from concrete for storing should mean that its bomb-proof ; only question is from what the outer walls are really built, possibly bricks. As long as the outer skin stays intact & rain has no chance to get in, it can survive as it stands.
    According to the offer, it can be bought cheap – I guess that means they want money for the ground and some xx-thousand (in the lower bracket !) for the building – the community does not want to be responsible for maintainance etc. : Its of no use for them & they need to avoid costs.
    What is needed is a crazy millionaire who simply likes it, needs space for his art collection & wants to create an interesting large garden. It would be btw cool to know what structures for what use were on this industrial areal, and one or two (or five) soil samples would be good, just to be sure that there lurks no surprise below. And before the deal is sealed this terrible hall, seemingly built from metal (Wellblech ?) should be torn down, preferably by the town. Also two ugly modern structures on the roadside should be taken away.
    I am sorry Autolycos, I can not see a business chance in there : It’s a money pit, gulping down a few million € easily. And what do you have afterwards ? A very large house in the middle of the lovely nowhere called Hohenlohe. Should I win thirty million € on Frayday, I’d be tempted to do this.

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