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View Full Version : Studebaker Foundry Site Sold - 04/2009



DEEPNHOCK
04-04-2009, 07:15 AM
http://tinyurl.com/d6wmgo

See link for complete story, but here are the two most interesting tidbits....

SOUTH BEND — One of the last privately owned properties in the Studebaker corridor has been acquired by the city to make way for Ignition Park.

The Redevelopment Commission approved an agreement to buy the former Studebaker Foundry at 1100 Prairie Ave., from its owners, The 1100 Corp. The commission also will help with relocation costs for Underground Pipe & Valve, which is a tenant in the building.

The purchase price is $1.6 million with a credit of $129,560 for 6.32 acres in the Oliver Industrial Park, where a new $2 million facility will be built for Underground Pipe & Valve.

and

The city has now finished its acquisition of former Studebaker Corp. buildings south of Sample Street. The area is being redeveloped as Ignition Park, which is one part of the city’s state certified technology park.

The city has now finished its acquisition of former Studebaker Corp. buildings [u]south of Sample Street</u>.
.....
Hmmmmmmmm......

Jeff[8D]

N8N
04-04-2009, 07:17 AM
Hmmmm indeed. Anyone talk to Dennis lately?

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

Retired
04-04-2009, 11:05 AM
Correct me if I wrong but, isn't Dennis buying the building from the city?

Richard

R2Andrea
04-04-2009, 11:13 AM
No, The city wasn't interested in selling the Engineering Building. That way they don't have to go through negotiations with the owner when they complete their mission to remove all the former factory buildings.

R2Andy

lstude
04-04-2009, 11:13 AM
Our forum is very polite to each other, rather than those who commented on that post.

Leonard Shepherd
http://leonardshepherd.com/

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/LHSJR/MyStudebakernobackgroundsm.jpg

R2Andrea
04-04-2009, 11:31 AM
This is quite a civil lot here. I don't see any evidence to the contrary, in this thread or in about 99.9% of any other.

R2Andy

bams50
04-04-2009, 11:42 AM
quote:Originally posted by lstude

Our forum is very polite to each other, rather than those who commented on that post.


That's the problem with any kind of discussion areas; the vast majority are frustration outlets by losers and troublemakers who hide behind computers and type things they never would say face-to-face, or get out those obscenities the wife won't let them verbalize. I have varied interests in the automotive world and elsewhere, but quickly lose interest in their respective forums just for this reason, and just don't participate[|)]

We don't have that problem here. The SDC forum is by far the best discussion area on the 'net! I have defended it and occasionally been called the "forum police", which is of course silly; I am not nor I aspire to be such. I only hope to see the forum preserved with the overall atmosphere it has!

Again, thanks to the SDC and Mr. Shaw for what is provided- and preserved- here![^]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

StudeDave57
04-04-2009, 12:03 PM
This doesn't sound too good for SASCO, does it...
[V] :( [B)]

Now the question has to be- Knowing the way the city has 'worked' with Dennis in the past- what'll they give him- two weeks notice? And then how much time before they go after the building with a demo crew~ a year [?] [?] [?]



StudeDave '57 [8D]

bams50
04-04-2009, 12:18 PM
Unless there's more to the story, it does sound a little ominous...

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

Pinchbolt
04-04-2009, 12:22 PM
Why am I thinking "Eddie Haskell"? Chuckle. Anyway, The SB situation is the same type of stuff the Empire-building city leaders here(also a college town) call "progress", just as long as they can count on taxpayer indebtedness to support it. Funny how people will mortgage their future, for vanity's sake. "Cleaning up" the corridor. Thing is, razing buildings that are presently in use, just to build new ones is really not a sustainable pracice in the long run. Of course, those folks have the bean-counters and artificail inputs like tax laws and building codes to back them up. It is comparable to last years' high scrap prices, where operable cars and trucks were actually being driven across the scales, to be crushed. I.E., Car needs a paint job, good paint job costs $1500, car is only worth 1800 w/new paint, wholesale, so crush it and get $400. That kind of logic. Unfortunately, society won't care about these wasteful practices in the name of recycling and progress, until it is too late.

starliner62
04-04-2009, 01:20 PM
We don't have that problem here. The SDC forum is by far the best discussion area on the 'net! I have defended it and occasionally been called the "forum police", which is of course silly;

Whatever you say, officer Bob!!:D:D:D:D

Jamie McLeod
Hope Mills, NC

starliner62
04-04-2009, 01:23 PM
The article said the city has aquired everything south of Sample Street. Is Sasco south, or did I read it wrong? ( I probably did )[:I]

Jamie McLeod
Hope Mills, NC

bams50
04-04-2009, 01:38 PM
quote:Originally posted by starliner62



Whatever you say, officer Bob!!:D:D:D:D



Alright, that's it... as my little nephew would say, you're "underrested"!:D

(Edited for spelling)

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

StudeDave57
04-04-2009, 01:45 PM
quote:Originally posted by starliner62

The article said the city has aquired everything south of Sample Street. Is Sasco south, or did I read it wrong? (I probably did) [:I] Jamie
Anyway-- BACK ON TOPIC... ;)

Yes, SASCO is on the south side of W. Sample St.
Franklin is the cross street.


StudeDave '57 [8D]

JGK 940
04-04-2009, 03:36 PM
quote:Originally posted by bams50


quote:Originally posted by lstude

Our forum is very polite to each other, rather than those who commented on that post.

We don't have that problem here. The SDC forum is by far the best discussion area on the 'net! I have defended it and occasionally been called the "forum police", which is of course silly; I am not nor I aspire to be such. I only hope to see the forum preserved with the overall atmosphere it has!


Aloha e Bob: Sorry if I caught you in the blast from my "thought police" rant a while back - wasn't directed at you but I shot it off in anger, which is always dangerous. Had the same trouble with the same individual a couple of days ago & wound up sending my response directly via PM after a firm, friendly and much-appreciated Swifster kick in the 'elemu woke me up to the fact I'd become part of the problem.

Thanks to all who contribute for the general level of civility and plain old decency we almost always find here. Shame about Barnlark, though: I understand completely why he's laying low, but I miss him already. Just hope he isn't gone for good. That would truly be a shame.

Keoni Dibelka / HiloFoto
In Hawai'i; on Hawai'i; on the Windward Side
If da salt air never chew 'em up bumbye da lava will...

bams50
04-04-2009, 03:58 PM
Naw, never had a problem with you, Keoni. It's only just a tiny few that ever nit-pick; and it's their problem, not mine. To you I say, "ALOHA!"[8D]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

R2Andrea
04-04-2009, 05:49 PM
As much as I hate to see another Studebaker building disappear, the Foundry really is in very bad shape. It's doubtful that Great Lakes Foundry did anything more than the bare minimum maintainence wise. As even less has been done for the building in the 35 or so years since they closed up.
The Engineering Building has also been neglected for decades. It's fortunate that it's still in very restorable condition, although it will require a lot of money to make it right. What's unfortunate, is that the City has no interest in it's long term survival. And never has.


R2Andy

StudHawk60
04-04-2009, 07:00 PM
South Bend always seems to have had a funny attitude when it comes to saving anything that has to do with Studebaker. (Probably because a lot of people lost their jobs.) Just look how long it took to get a decent museum.

8E45E
04-04-2009, 07:09 PM
quote:Originally posted by R2Andy

As much as I hate to see another Studebaker building disappear, the Foundry really is in very bad shape. It's doubtful that Great Lakes Foundry did anything more than the bare minimum maintainence wise. As even less has been done for the building in the 35 or so years since they closed up.


Andy, I will have to agree with you on your assessment of the facility. Even when Studebaker was there, it appeared to have had minimal houskeeping going by some old factory photos I have seen. Having toured the Foundry in 2007, my conclusion was that it is on borrowed time, and now it is official. First, I am glad to hear the current tenant, Underground Pipe & Valve is now being given some time and money to relocate as the owner's son expressed that concern to me when I was there. Second, if anyone in SDC wants to tour the Foundry, NOW is the time to 'book' your appointment to do so before the move is done and the building becomes off limits to anyone before demolition!!:)

Craig

R2Andrea
04-04-2009, 07:58 PM
Craig, PM sent.


R2Andy

54-61-62
04-04-2009, 09:49 PM
quote:Originally posted by R2Andy

It's doubtful that Great Lakes Foundry did anything more than the bare minimum maintainence wise.


My father worked for Great Lakes foundry in SB during the years they were operating the old Studebaker foundry. He specifically recalls that the old core pattern machines were so worn out that it made a quality product almost impossible.

silverhawk
04-04-2009, 09:57 PM
Wow, thats pretty bad.

Dylan Wills

'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

Steve T
04-04-2009, 09:58 PM
That's sad to hear. Interesting to observe the diverse fortunes of the company's buildings vis-a-vis attempts to commemorate its history via museum displays: in South Bend, the factory buildings are vanishing one by one after years or decades of indifference; but a fine museum and archive complex has risen. Up here in Hamilton, there seems to be not the faintest hope of any sort of commemorative display even on a modest scale; yet the factory complex here still stands, structurally fine, periodically in partial use, and once in a while someone even moots the idea of repainting the still-legible STUDEBAKER lettering high on the north wall, painted circa 1950...

S.

StudeMichael
04-05-2009, 03:09 AM
SDC's board of directors had thier chance to save some of this from happening but elected to go with the new Museum instead. It's a darn shame that the club does not own the Administration Building and the Engineering Building. Once the Engineering Building is gone, the Administration Building will be all that's left. :(

1957 Packard Clipper
1957 President Broadmoor
1963 Daytona Convertible
1963 R2 Daytona
1963 R2 GT Hawk
1963 R1 Wagonaire
1963 R4 Avanti
1964 Champ
1966 Cruiser

8E45E
04-05-2009, 06:08 AM
quote:Originally posted by StudeMichael
Once the Engineering Building is gone, the Administration Building will be all that's left. :(



I believe these buildings which are directly behind the Administration are safe from the wrecker's ball. They were fully leased when I took these pics in '07.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3580/3413630199_5cfed82529_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3629/3413627421_aacb004bcd_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3336/3414430148_a2747eecf9_b.jpg

Craig

Skip Lackie
04-05-2009, 08:23 AM
quote:Originally posted by StudeMichael

SDC's board of directors had thier chance to save some of this from happening but elected to go with the new Museum instead. It's a darn shame that the club does not own the Administration Building and the Engineering Building. Once the Engineering Building is gone, the Administration Building will be all that's left. :(


Michael-
I must admit that I don't understand your comment. I've only been on the SDC board for a few years, but I don't remember anyone seriously proposing that the club buy any building. As far as I know, the city has never offered the engineering building for sale for the reasons noted above. And while I agree that it would be nice if SDC could own the adminstration building, I suspect that it would turn out to be a major drain on the club's finances. Being a landlord, especially of a big building, can be a full-time job. I also doubt that a majority of the membership would agree that buying a building, no matter how closely associated with Studebaker, would be possible under our current bylaws.

SDC provides a lot of moral support to both the SDC Museum and SDC Foundation, and helps to raise money for both. But other than giving both organizations some free advertising in Turning Wheels, the club does not contribute any of SDC's member's dues to either of them.

Skip Lackie
Board member, Atlantic Zone

R2Andrea
04-05-2009, 12:55 PM
To say that the SDC had any REAL control over the museums location is wishful thinking.











R2Andy

jclary
04-05-2009, 01:52 PM
I think that the most enduring (and endearing) tribute to Studebaker, is not the preservation of its crumbling buildings, but the SDC. It is the members of SDC who provide "life" to the legacy of Studebaker. The buildings, equipment, cars, and artifacts, fade as time passes. If we continue to actively participate, maintain, and promote the Studebaker experience in a manner that attracts future generations, then "Studebaker" will have significance after the last wheel stops rolling. We should strive to preserve all that we can in a reasonable prudent manner, but take care not to endanger the well being of SDC in risky investments.

John Clary
Greer, SC
http://i518.photobucket.com/albums/u346/jconln/HPIM0372-2.jpg
I have only two limitations ...BRAINS & ENERGY
SDC member since 1975

StudeMichael
04-05-2009, 01:52 PM
Skip, the SDC Board of Directors did vote on and did in fact decide to not pursue purchasing the Administration building for the purpose of the Studebaker National Museum. It was in fact the original museum for the Studebaker Vehicle Collection and in my opinion should have been purchased for not only the vehicle collection but also as headquarters for SDC.



1957 Packard Clipper
1957 President Broadmoor
1963 Daytona Convertible
1963 R2 Daytona
1963 R2 GT Hawk
1963 R1 Wagonaire
1963 R4 Avanti
1964 Champ
1966 Cruiser

R2Andrea
04-05-2009, 01:58 PM
The Body Plant (Craig's pics. above) is the least likely of the remaining Studebaker buildings to come down. Aside from the Truck Plant, that is. The people who own the Body Plant have money and they've been willing to put money into repairing the building during their ownership. The city has done what they can to make life rough for this but the owners haven't given up.
And for those who might not have known, the Plant 8 building was demolished and the site has become a recycling center

R2Andy

BobGlasscock
04-05-2009, 02:14 PM
Nice post thought jclary.

'50 Champion, 1 family owner
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff019.jpghttp://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff018.jpg

R2Andrea
04-05-2009, 02:17 PM
There were a number of factors involved in not using the Administration Building. These included no on site parking, some concerns about the continued structural integrity of the building, and most importantly, the huge cost to make the structure suitable for long term preservation of the Collection. As much as I want to see the Ad. Bldg preserved, it wasn't the best option for the SNM.

R2Andy

The Studebaker Collection predates the Administration Building. Perhaps Mr. Quinn would enlighten the forum?

Skip Lackie
04-06-2009, 11:06 AM
quote:Originally posted by R2Andy

There were a number of factors involved in not using the Administration Building. These included no on site parking, some concerns about the continued structural integrity of the building, and most importantly, the huge cost to make the structure suitable for long term preservation of the Collection. As much as I want to see the Ad. Bldg preserved, it wasn't the best option for the SNM.

R2Andy

The Studebaker Collection predates the Administration Building. Perhaps Mr. Quinn would enlighten the forum?

I agree that Dick Quinn would be the most knowledgable individual to review the history of the museum collection. However, I can contribute a few tidbits of history.

As I recall, only a few of the most significant historical vehicles were actually on display in the Studebaker Administration Building. When Stude closed the plant, it donated the collection to the City of South Bend, with the understanding that a suitable display venue would be established. However, the city was suffering financially, and stored most of the collection in the damp basement of the local Chevy dealer. SDC began a campaign to pressure and/or embarrass the city into doing more to display, or at least conserve, the vehicles.

When the Century Center opened, a few of the more important vehicles were displayed there -- but most remained in storage. SDC actually considered either suing the city directly or getting McGraw-Edison, which had absorbed Studebaker-Worthington, to force the city to display the collection properly. Unsurprisingly, McGraw-Edison had no interest in intervening, and SDC had no legal standing to sue anybody on the matter.

Fortunately, SDC had allies in the many Studebaker alumni still living in the area, and they also continued to pressure the city to uphold their end of the deal. I remember that in the early 1980s the SB Tribune printed a lengthy letter to the editor from me on the city's failure to properly display (or even conserve) the vehicle collection. This letter led to a couple of breakfast meetings with the mayor when he was in Washington on other business. He picked up the tab. Guys like Phil Brown and Dick Quinn were doing a lot more than I ever did.

Eventually, the Freeman-Spicer building was identified as the site of a permanent museum. Although the building was not in great shape, it finally provided a place where all of the vehicles could actually be displayed and seen by the public, instead of being hidden away in dead storage. Perhaps even more importantly, it also meant that a real museum with permanent staff had to be established. This provided some forward inertia and ensured that the collection would live on. And as we know, it has -- with both a new building for the vehicles, and a separate building for the archives.

I think SDC can be proud of its role in forcing the city to do right by the Studebaker vehicle collection. Would a museum have been established if the club had not pressured the city for 20+ years? Maybe -- but I doubt that it would have been as soon, or as nice, or as accommodating to club members.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC

R2Andrea
04-06-2009, 07:42 PM
The Collection was first displayed (post Studebaker closing) in the south west corner of the Administration Building. I think they were open one Sunday per month for a few hours in the afternoon. Volunteers from the Michiana Chapter would come in to clean the vehicles up and keep an eye on visitors. At various times vehicles were stored in an old garage building downtown by the river, in a building at the old Drewry's Brewery complex and in the basement of Gates Cheverolet ( the former Sears Roebuck building, just recently demolished). I think there has been at least one other location, but it escapes me now. Part of the Collection was put on display in the Discovery Hall Museum, located downtown at the Century Center. Discovery Hall was a museum of local industrial history and had examples of products from quite a few local businesses. Eventually, the City aquired the Freeman Spicer dealership building for the purpose of displaying the Collection. This was sometime after the SDC put up a big stink and there was talk of trying to take the Collection away from the City and create a museum in Pennsylvania. The Discovery Hall Museum was done away with a few years after the opening of the SNM at the Freeman Spicer bldg. The Century Center had been the site for the International Plate and Collectibles Convention and as it grew they started using part of the Discovery Halls floor space. The City eventually decided that DH's realestate was more valuable as convention space and the museum was forced out. The vehicles went to join the rest of the collection at the SNM and I believe the rest of the artifacts went to the Northern Indiana Historical Society. The NIHS facility is where the new SNM is located. Ironically the Plate Collectors Convention quit using Century Center within a few years of the demise of Discovery Hall.

R2Andy

ChampTrucking
04-06-2009, 10:13 PM
And a personal note about the Ad.building display.My Mom worked her whole life @ The Administration building,and I got to see those neat old cars every afternoon when we picked her up after work.I used to sneak in the loading dock enterance just to get up close to them.I guess that is when my Studebaker interest started.

DEEPNHOCK
04-06-2009, 10:21 PM
Next time you see her, ask her exactly 'where' you were conceived;)[:p]


quote:Originally posted by ChampTrucking

And a personal note about the Ad.building display.My Mom worked her whole life @ The Administration building,and I got to see those neat old cars every afternoon when we picked her up after work.I used to sneak in the loading dock enterance just to get up close to them.I guess that is when my Studebaker interest started.

bams50
04-06-2009, 10:28 PM
What an amazing series of posts here- absolutely spellbinding for this greenhorn. Makes me think a book about the story of the corporation's remnants and artifacts and the car collection from Stude's closing to today would be a fascinating read!

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

52 Ragtop
04-06-2009, 10:43 PM
In response to the "structural" integrity of the Administration building. When the IM meet was in SB a couple years ago, I was able to take a tour of the building. As we were "touring"a train went by less than 20 feet from the building, and unless you really paid attention, you could barely feel it! So as far as structural, I'm pretty sure it's sound! But, I am not a building engineer either!

Jim

R2Andrea
04-07-2009, 02:18 AM
I think it is too. Tho neither am I. It could have been slanted info for steering purposes.


R2Andy

Skip Lackie
04-07-2009, 07:08 AM
quote:Originally posted by R2Andy

The Collection was first displayed (post Studebaker closing) in the south west corner of the Administration Building. I think they were open one Sunday per month for a few hours in the afternoon. Volunteers from the Michiana Chapter would come in to clean the vehicles up and keep an eye on visitors. At various times vehicles were stored in an old garage building downtown by the river, in a building at the old Drewry's Brewery complex and in the basement of Gates Cheverolet ( the former Sears Roebuck building, just recently demolished). I think there has been at least one other location, but it escapes me now. Part of the Collection was put on display in the Discovery Hall Museum, located downtown at the Century Center. Discovery Hall was a museum of local industrial history and had examples of products from quite a few local businesses. Eventually, the City aquired the Freeman Spicer dealership building for the purpose of displaying the Collection. This was sometime after the SDC put up a big stink and there was talk of trying to take the Collection away from the City and create a museum in Pennsylvania. The Discovery Hall Museum was done away with a few years after the opening of the SNM at the Freeman Spicer bldg. The Century Center had been the site for the International Plate and Collectibles Convention and as it grew they started using part of the Discovery Halls floor space. The City eventually decided that DH's realestate was more valuable as convention space and the museum was forced out. The vehicles went to join the rest of the collection at the SNM and I believe the rest of the artifacts went to the Northern Indiana Historical Society. The NIHS facility is where the new SNM is located. Ironically the Plate Collectors Convention quit using Century Center within a few years of the demise of Discovery Hall.

R2Andy

R2Andy-
Thanks for filling in a lot of the details. I had forgotten (or never knew) some of that early history of the vehicle collection.

The proposal to move the collection to Pennsylvania was a sincere effort by some folks in the Keystone Region Chapter, but never really had any chance of success. The city was the clear owner of the collection, and wasn't gonna give it up. Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania proposal, along with all the other nagging by SDC and the Michiana Chapter, served to pressure the city into finally establishing a permanent museum.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC

4961Studebaker
04-07-2009, 08:57 AM
If I missed it somewhere......


who has ownership of the collection now? SNM, city?

ChopStu
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q14/kkad0711/IMG_5406-1.jpg

Skip Lackie
04-07-2009, 10:10 AM
quote:Originally posted by 4961Studebaker

If I missed it somewhere......


who has ownership of the collection now? SNM, city?

ChopStu

I have always assumed that the city transferred ownership of the original collection to the museum, which is part of the (non-profit) Northern Indiana Center for History. Many more vehicles have been donated to it since a real museum was established.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC

studegary
04-07-2009, 01:33 PM
quote:Originally posted by Skip Lackie


quote:Originally posted by 4961Studebaker

If I missed it somewhere......


who has ownership of the collection now? SNM, city?

ChopStu

I have always assumed that the city transferred ownership of the original collection to the museum, which is part of the (non-profit) Northern Indiana Center for History. Many more vehicles have been donated to it since a real museum was established.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC


Assuming can be a bad thing. The last that I knew, the City of South Bend owned about one-third of the vehicles (the original Studebaker Corp. collection), including the most significant and valuable. Do you have anything showing that South Bend transferred ownership? I guess that Andy, Richard and/or the SNM would be the proper ones to answer this.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

studegary
04-07-2009, 01:47 PM
quote:Originally posted by Skip Lackie


quote:Originally posted by R2Andy

The Collection was first displayed (post Studebaker closing) in the south west corner of the Administration Building. I think they were open one Sunday per month for a few hours in the afternoon. Volunteers from the Michiana Chapter would come in to clean the vehicles up and keep an eye on visitors. At various times vehicles were stored in an old garage building downtown by the river, in a building at the old Drewry's Brewery complex and in the basement of Gates Cheverolet ( the former Sears Roebuck building, just recently demolished). I think there has been at least one other location, but it escapes me now. Part of the Collection was put on display in the Discovery Hall Museum, located downtown at the Century Center. Discovery Hall was a museum of local industrial history and had examples of products from quite a few local businesses. Eventually, the City aquired the Freeman Spicer dealership building for the purpose of displaying the Collection. This was sometime after the SDC put up a big stink and there was talk of trying to take the Collection away from the City and create a museum in Pennsylvania. The Discovery Hall Museum was done away with a few years after the opening of the SNM at the Freeman Spicer bldg. The Century Center had been the site for the International Plate and Collectibles Convention and as it grew they started using part of the Discovery Halls floor space. The City eventually decided that DH's realestate was more valuable as convention space and the museum was forced out. The vehicles went to join the rest of the collection at the SNM and I believe the rest of the artifacts went to the Northern Indiana Historical Society. The NIHS facility is where the new SNM is located. Ironically the Plate Collectors Convention quit using Century Center within a few years of the demise of Discovery Hall.

R2Andy

R2Andy-
Thanks for filling in a lot of the details. I had forgotten (or never knew) some of that early history of the vehicle collection.

The proposal to move the collection to Pennsylvania was a sincere effort by some folks in the Keystone Region Chapter, but never really had any chance of success. The city was the clear owner of the collection, and wasn't gonna give it up. Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania proposal, along with all the other nagging by SDC and the Michiana Chapter, served to pressure the city into finally establishing a permanent museum.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC


When the City of South Bend wasn't making any progress on properly displaying the Studebaker collection, several others had alternate proposals. Three come to mind.
1) The proposal to put the museum in Pennsylvania.
2) Dr. C purchased land at an exit of an Interstate in Florida to put a Studebaker museum on.
3) I located an available, large, sound, building for free. It was a Nabisco box plant on the Hudson River in Beacon, NY. Nabisco was just looking for a tax deduction and would give it to any charity type organization. It is several times the size of the current SNM. I couldn't get anywhere with Studebaker people that believed that the Stuebaker museum "had to be" in South Bend, even though any remaining part of Studebaker in South Bend was already disappearing and the City did not support Studebaker and the collection (as promised to Studebaker Corp.) DIA took the building from Nabisco and turned it into a fancy high class museum that draws thousands of visitors. Many come up from NYC on the train and walk to the museum.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

Skip Lackie
04-07-2009, 02:24 PM
quote:Originally posted by studegary


quote:Originally posted by Skip Lackie


quote:Originally posted by 4961Studebaker

If I missed it somewhere......


who has ownership of the collection now? SNM, city?

ChopStu

I have always assumed that the city transferred ownership of the original collection to the museum, which is part of the (non-profit) Northern Indiana Center for History. Many more vehicles have been donated to it since a real museum was established.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC


Assuming can be a bad thing. The last that I knew, the City of South Bend owned about one-third of the vehicles (the original Studebaker Corp. collection), including the most significant and valuable. Do you have anything showing that South Bend transferred ownership? I guess that Andy, Richard and/or the SNM would be the proper ones to answer this.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

Good point. I can't remember how/from whom I got that impression. I spose it's possible the city retained ownership -- which probably does not bode well over the long run.

Skip Lackie
Washington DC