The Studebaker Corporation in South Bend, Indiana

South Bend, IN, United States
Est. 536m / 11 mins / Map

The Studebaker Corporation in South Bend, Indiana - Cya On The Road

Welcome to South Bend, Indiana. Today we are visiting one of the main industrial sites of the now defunct Studebaker Corporation, who began here in 1852 as a blacksmith crafting horse-drawn wagons, and ceased over a century later in 1966, creating innovative automobiles. This tour focuses on how Studebaker’s heritage (since 1963) has been the source of much pain, frustration, and even anger, for the people of South Bend. By reflecting on the decisions and circumstances during the Post-war era (1946-1966), this being the most influential period on existing local attitudes, we should gain an understanding of the future purpose and role of Studebaker heritage in South Bend. The proposed Studebaker-Railroad Corridor National Register Historic District, including the former Administration building, Building No. 84, 112 and 113, as well as Union Station, will be the focus of this discussion.[1] What is to be dubbed the “Renaissance District” will comprise these buildings, redeveloped into an ultra modern business complex, to accommodate the growing industry in South Bend for data storage and tech based research.[2] The importance of identity, memory and tradition are deeply linked to this enterprise, and will help frame this tour.[3][1] M Fosmoe, ‘South Bend Renaissance District Plans unveiled – Renovation of former Studebaker complex to start soon’, South Bend Tribune, 2015, retrieved 17 May 2017, < http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/south-bend-renaissance-district-plans-unveiled/article_4d265c05-6de6-56b9-94b3-19486cc3a71e.html>.[2] ibid.[3] ibid. [Fig. 1.] M Fosmoe, ‘Historic Status for Studebaker corridor?’, South Bend Tribune, 2014, retrieved 17 May 2017, <http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/historic-status-for-studebaker-corridor/article_b4d6ba42-95ac-11e3-bc34-001a4bcf6878.html>.[Fig. 2.] Studebaker National Museum Archives, ‘Studebaker Body Assembly Plant 1926’, 2017, retrieved 17 May 2017, < http://studebakerarchives.photoshelter.com/gallery/Studebaker-Plant-South-Bend-Exteriors/G0000jhVKsx0NQpo/C0000ntGrucq8L.8>. 

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