The JMS Building
South Bend's landmark JMS Building was built in 1910 by Studebaker Automobiles co-founder and executive John Mohler Studebaker - hence the name JMS. The brick and white terra cotta building was designed by Solon Spencer Beman, the architect of Chicago's Pullman community and Milwaukee's stunning (but demolished) Pabst Building. Locals with a coffee interest will know this as the former home of Main Street Coffee house, may she rest in peace.
Today the building has new life (after a multimillion dollar renovation) as the Studebaker Lofts, an apartment community boasting "historical architecture with modern sensibilities." I explored the building post-renovation and come to you with #views:
John Mohler Studebaker, JMS
Hidden in the basement is a fabled vault boasting an ornate 12-ton door. It is truly a sight to behold and is probably the most regal feature remaining in South Bend's downtown historic buildings. I was excited to learn that although it is no longer used as a bank vault, it will remain intact at the JMS.
We owe a huge thank you to Studebaker Lofts & Great Lakes Capital for opening your doors to create this story. Your restoration of this building and openness to our storytelling are two reasons why South Bend is a Rust Belt city on the move.