- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Some area Studebaker enthusiasts want a South Bend landmark restored on or near its original location.

They’re asking that city officials reassemble and put back on public view the Studebaker Corp. main gate and guardhouse that formerly stood on the south side of Sample Street, near where Ignition Park is under construction today.

The gate and brick guardhouse were taken apart in about 2008 and placed in storage.

The landmark Gate 1 was visible in South Bend Tribune photos taken on Dec. 9, 1963, showing workers exiting the factory on the day it was announced that Studebaker would cease all vehicle production in South Bend and close the factory doors.

“We’d love to see it go back on the south side of Sample Street,” said Tim Janowiak, a local member of Studebaker Drivers Club.

In early 2008, the city was preparing to demolish the massive former South Bend Lathe facility at 400 W. Sample St., a vestige of the former Studebaker complex.

At the time, city officials said the guardhouse and main gate that stood just east of the South Bend Lathe building would be disassembled, placed in storage and later rebuilt at the entry to a new street being built for Ignition Park, according to Tribune news coverage at the time.

Since then, there’s been no movement to rebuild the landmark gate on or near the site where it once stood. The spot is roughly south across Sample Street from the current St. Joseph County Jail.

The Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County also is interested in the project.

HPC has color photos taken of the gate and guardhouse before it was disassembled, and also some hand drawings with measurements detailing the dimensions of the guardhouse, said Steve Szaday, HPC preservation specialist. The photos and drawings were done by DLZ, an architecture and engineering firm hired by the city to document the landmark.

Studebaker Drivers Club also is seeking photos from the public of what the guardhouse looked like, both inside and out, during the years it stood there. And club members would like to hear from any Studebaker retirees who worked in or spent time in that guardhouse, Janowiak said.

“We’d like to replicate the way it was originally,” he said.

It’s believed that the gate and guardhouse were constructed about 1928, Janowiak said. The architect is unknown.

It’s not known how much money would have to be raised to restore the gate and guardhouse to public view. “We’d like to reach out to labor unions to do the work,” he said.


Source: South Bend Tribune, https://bit.ly/1SPt4Xq


Information from: South Bend Tribune, https://www.southbendtribune.com

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