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
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
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.