A new life for the Studebaker guardhouse

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A lot of Studebaker buildings have been torn down in the past.

Now, one of those buildings is standing again.

The old Studebaker guardhouse was built in 1928.

It, along with other Studebaker buildings were taken down in 2008.

Unlike the other buildings, the guardhouse pieces were stored in the hopes that they would be reassembled at some point.

Now, the 3,863 bricks that make up the guardhouse are back where they belong.

The structure has reappeared in the 600 block of South Lafayette outside the former Studebaker Building 84.

“It was the gateway to Studebaker from 1928 to when they closed in 1964, said project volunteer Tim Janowiak.

While the structure is small by Studebaker standards with just 112 square feet, it is huge in sentimental value because it served as the factory’s front door for so many workers for so long.

“But it’s really a testimony to the people because people made Studebaker cars, right, the factory facilitated it, but it’s the people that actually created Studebaker,” said Kevin Smith who owns the former Studebaker Building 84.

“It’s just been a great thing and people realize what a great asset this is going to be with recognizing Studebaker and its employees, which I think everybody, everybody has someone that was a relative or something that worked here,” added Tim Janowiak.

The front door encore is being made possible by volunteers and contractors doing work for cost. While the guardhouse is standing once again, the project is far from complete.

The next step will be to put the massive guardhouse gates in place. The longest measures 16 feet.

Those in charge of the project say a GoFundMe account will likely be set up soon.

The guard house will be accessible to the public. It will be manned by a donated mannequin called “Earl,” who will be dressed for the part.

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