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  • Studebaker National Museum (update)

    Took the hardhat tour of the SNM Friday afternoon.
    Was lucky enough to have the chief architect as our docent tour guide.
    Asked him a lot of questions about the facility.

    It's three stories with two drive in entrances on the middle floor and a drive into elevator for putting Studebakers upstairs and downstairs.

    The main lobby will have a cable lift mechanism that will hang a Studebaker from cables overhead, so you can walk under it and go upstairs and look accross at it (my comment to our group was "Great, not only can a Stude drip on the museum floor, not it can drip on you!".. There will be a vista overlook from the middle floor that faces east that will house a showcase Stude that can be viewed from the street. The handrail for the grand staircase and the vestibule area will be an industrial style with steel rails and stainless steel cables. I asked what colors all the metal trim was going to be painted, but he did not know. Several suggestions came up to use matching colors that Studebaker painted their vehicles with, and then label them as such. He said that was an interesting idea and would bring that up to the committee. Up on the top floor this same area will be a meeting room with a view. There will be moveable walls that can partition the area off in different configurations (banquets, etc.) , and it has a complete service area with wet bar, etc. The rooms are suprisingly big, but that may be an illusion, as there are no vehicles there.
    The bottom level will have a multi level rack system (4 post lifts daisy chained together) along the long wall so that two or three layers of Stude's can be stored, and rotated as displays change. There is a spacious and well lit literature section that will be high density document storeage (similar to many archives) with the file cabinets on floor tracks that can be pushed together to save floor space. There is also a vehicle preparation area that was also well lit. It will NOT be a restoration facility as they can have no open flame, or painting going on anywhere in the building.
    The walls have this strange looking horizontal slot in the cinder blocks all the way around. This brought curious questions. They are to vent the space between the exterior wall and the plate glass veneer on the outside of the building. My immediate thought was it would stop the small arms fire from getting inside the building from the neighborhood. There is an elaborate track lightitng system being installed that can have many different type of lights.. Spot, flood, wash... Even some special lights that will not affect fabric for some of the Studebaker carraiges that will be on display. There is a good sized freight elevator going in, but it won't take anything real, real long, so any long vehicles (or trailers) will have to go in on the middle floor. The official Studebaker archives are being housed in the building right next door to the south, They acquired it in the process. The location of the museum is interesting, to say the least. It is about 4 blocks or so west of downtown, or two blocks west and one block south of Tippecanoe place. The neighborhood kind of sucks, but the properties right close to the museum facing east were all being remodeled, relandscaped, or rehabbed. Not so to the south, north, or west, but the parking lot takes up most of the block to the west. The tour was real impressive, even if it was just walking through a partially completed empty building. They said that 'posession' would happen in August, but no vehicles will go in there before late September (off gassing of paint and building materials, carpeting, etc.) with an October Gala planned.
    Very glad to have taken the time to go over there. It was impressive.
    Jeff[8D]


    DEEPNHOCK@worldnet.att.net
    '61 Hawk
    '37 Coupe Express
    http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock

  • #2
    [:I]Thanks for the report, Jeff. Did they allow any pictures to be taken?

    steve blake
    steve blake...roaming the Texas Panhandle in my trusty Champ pickup
    http://tinyurl.com/kr3gt

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    • #3

      They sure did, but I was without camera <grrr>
      A lot of other people were taking pic's, so I am sure there will be some good links floating around real soon.
      Jeff[8D]




      quote:Originally posted by arkiejazz

      [:I]Thanks for the report, Jeff. Did they allow any pictures to be taken?

      steve blake
      DEEPNHOCK@worldnet.att.net
      '61 Hawk
      '37 Coupe Express
      http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

      Jeff


      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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      • #4
        That area was a 'no go zone' when I was living in South Bend, glad to see it's getting some urban renewal.

        64 Challenger (Green Wrapper)
        63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk
        55 Speedster
        50 2R 10 truck
        JDP Maryland

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        • #5
          We've been making contributions to the fund from the UK chapter and it's great to have an update and further evidence that it is really happening! I'll forward this report to out newsletter editor. I visited the old museum (and had lunch at Tippecanoe Place) several years ago and enjoyed it greatly. I look forward to seeing the new museum on some future visit to friends in Chicago.

          Peter.

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          • #6
            I was looking at some pictures of the current museum and noticed that they have a Hummer on display. That seemed a bit incongruous to me. I mean, is'nt this supposed to be a Studebaker museum?

            On another note; It's a sad fact of life that the centre of our cities have deteriorated. This is due to greed (landlords) and the simple fact that the public seems to have a fondness for new construction.[}] The small part of Europe that I was priviliged to have seen thirty years ago did'nt seem to be suffering quite as badly from this. Then again the largest urban renewal project in history, AKA WW2, seems to have helped out a little.

            It's nice to hear that Southbend is making some attempt to address the problems in the neighborhood of the museum. No matter how small.

            Lotsa Larks!
            Studeclunker
            A.K.A: out2lunch
            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

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            • #7
              2 hummers.....bummer. Too bad Avanti didn't see fit to loan a new Studebaker. If I'd been in charge of the museum,I'd have told GM where to go[nicely of course].Let 'em sue ME!!!

              not golden hawk,not silver hawk,just hawk.
              Oglesby,Il.

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              • #8
                Jeff,
                Thank you for your detailed observations of "our" new Studebaker home.
                My wife and I eagerly look forward to seeing the new facility. We were last in South Bend in '97 for the International Meet. We toured the museum back then and enjoyed what they had to offer. The new place should be sensational.
                Since restoration won't be allowed in the new place, where would restoration take place? I know the '47 woodie was being restored in the current museum the last time we were there.
                Rog
                '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
                Smithtown,NY
                Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

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