It was not until 1889 that the Kunstverein, founded in 1837 and thus one of the oldest art associations in Germany, got its first exhibition building; before 1889, exhibitions took place in the castle. During the air bombing known as Brandnacht (Fire night, September 11/12, 1944), the building was heavily damaged. After changing exhibition venues, the Neue Hessische Kunstverein (New Hessian Art Association, founded in 1946), under its chairman, Prof. Max Nuß, decided to erect a new building on the site of the old Kunsthalle. To this end, an architectural competition was issued in 1955, won by Prof. Theo Pabst, who taught at the former Technical University of Architecture Darmstadt. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Kunstverein in 1987, Chairman Dr. Hermann Kleinstück initiated the expansion of the Kunsthalle.