Friends of the Studebaker Electric Fountain to be honored with restoration award

Photo courtesy Justin Hicks

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Friends of Studebaker Fountain have won the Indiana Automotive Heritage Award for their work in restoring the Studebaker Electric Fountain.

The fountain was commissioned by John Studebaker, an instrumental member of the Studebaker Automotive group.

In 1906, the fountain was installed in Howard Park, and stood 28 feet high and 34 feet wide, adorned by animals, cherubs and female figures.

By 1941, the fountain had fallen into disrepair so it was dismantled by the city of South Bend’s Parks Department.

In 2009, over two-thirds of the fountains remains were discovered in Mishawaka, and the family in possession of it donated the fountain to The History Museum.

In 2015, a group of community leaders, historians and preservation advocates organized the Friends of Studebaker Fountain, and eventually raised around $900,000 in total for maintenance and repair.

The refurbished fountain was rededicated at Leeper Park in 2019, and now features color-changing LED lights in connection with the river side lighting installations.

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