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Studebaker Works

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  • on 26 August 2014
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This building was the former headquarters for Studebaker which was an independent American auto manufacturer. Later it was the headquarters for the South Bend public schools. In recent years it was purchased by the City of South Bend which is in the process of restoring it.

Another view of Studebaker’s former headquarters. Studebaker at one time was serviced by its own in-house industrial railroad as well as by competing Class I railroads and their affiliates including the NYC, the PRR, and Wabash. Studebaker eventually shut down its South Bend plant in December of 1963 and consolidated remaining auto production at its Hamilton, ON, plant. In 1966 Studebaker eliminated its automotive division to focus on other, more profitable lines of business and its headquarters were relocated to New York City.


The notched look of the Studebaker headquarters building at the NW corner of Bronson and Main in downtown South Bend was to accommodate a track that once connected the PRR’s Vandalia Line to the NYC. When the NYC (and Grand Trunk) were elevated onto a viaduct through downtown South Bend the connection was severed to the PRR but the notch remained.

This view looks at the only one of two surviving Studebaker buildings left in downtown South Bend. In this case, Building 84. Most were torn down in the mid 2000s. It is used as a warehouse by South Bend Warehousing and Distribution today with plans to convert it to a massive data center. Building 84 was serviced by Studebaker’s in-plant railroad.



A view looking north along United Drive with Studebaker Building 84 to the east and what appears to be a CN (Grand Trunk) train on the viaduct.


Curtain wall construction of Studebaker Building 84.