After the fire of 1736 which destroyed more than half of the city, Pontarlier is reconstructed with a share of the subsidies of Louis XV. The rest of the money used to build a barracks to house troops called in to fight against smuggling at the border.
Built on ancient fortifications and completed in 1764, these two buildings overlooking the canal. The central door, which commanded the road access to Mortlake was removed in 1922 to accommodate traffic. Despite the request of military authorities who wanted the fence to the buildings exterior facade stripped are organized around an open square (named after Julius Pagnier, Mayor of Pontarlier from 1945 to 1947).
Since 1887, these barracks are named after General John Joseph Marguet (1773-1814) who distinguished himself in the armies of the Republic, the Consulate and the Empire and was elevated to the title of baron of the Empire. The barracks could house more than 200 men and horses. They were never exists solely for military barracks and also served as corn exchange, accommodation for the royal stables of Besançon, Protestant place of worship and housing for two brigades of customs. Acquired by the City in 1921, they sheltered the bathhouse, the covered market, the soup kitchen, a school of domestic, municipal archives, the Red Cross ... Partially destroyed by fire in 2006, the left wing, restored and refurbished, is now occupied by the conservatory Elijah Smith. The right wing houses the mosque-Philippe Grenier.