At a former convent that had been occupied by congregations of the Celestine order and then by the Cordeliers, in 1875 the municipality planned a new building, purpose built in order to lodge soldiers and their horses. Following plans by the architect Jacques Hermant, a new district was built between 1893 and 1905 on an area of 4 hectares. The general plan was based on a spearhead pointing towards Notre Dame. The building as a whole stands out in the urban environment, notably with its façade on Boulevard Henri IV (a new road created in 1871) with its sober and austere style enhanced by a boss of hand-carved stones from the Haute-Marne.
Stables can accommodate nearly 500 horses and are built around a 250-meter track to enable horse relaxation. A rectangular indoor school covering 53x22 metres was built and named after Battesti, a former officer of the Republican Guard who was killed in action in 1914. This space is capped with an "Eiffel" metal structure which enables the horses to be worked in all weather. A bas-relief by Allard on its pediment located above the main entrance symbolically depicts a man breaking wild horses in a style imitating Robert Lorrain's bas-relief at the Hotel de Rohan (1736).