Thursday, March 24, 2011

#154: Studebaker National Museum

Tonight at Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, they are showing what promises to be a fascinating film on the history of the Studebaker family and automobile industry in South Bend. Unfortunately, it's already sold out. Lesson learned: buy tickets to your cinematic experiences of local history early.

But never fear, if you're going to be missing out (like I am), take the alternate (or detour...) route to learning about one of the most important parts of South Bend history. Visit the Studebaker National Museum! The museum is located on a joint museum campus with the Center for History near downtown and maintains ongoing exhibitions as well as special exhibits and events throughout the year. The current special exhibits include a feature on the project to design a 21st century Studebaker (visitor input welcome!) and a collection of famous cars from the silver screen. Herbie the Love Bug? We've got it here in South Bend as well as cars driven by Elvis Presley and Elton John.  One of the ongoing exhibitions is just as cool: a display of presidential carriages, including Abraham Lincoln's.

In sunnier weather...
The Studebaker's (family and company) truly formed an integral part of South Bend's history and their influence can be seen all over the city. Take an afternoon and learn about what these cars meant, not only for South Bend, but, really, for American industry at large.

Location: 201 South Chapin Street
Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm    Mon-Sat     12:00pm-5:00pm   Sun
Website: Click here!
Fun fact: Did you know that the Studebaker's sponsored the television series Mr. Ed?

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