Restoration at The Hibberd Building
The Hibberd Printing Company was founded in South Bend in 1889 by Charles B. Hibberd. By 1926 the company’s growth in printing, bookbinding, and publishing necessitated the construction of a plant at 321 South Main Street.
Over the decades since the company was sold the building has sat rather unassumingly across from the library in downtown South Bend — that is until 2017 when a group of local investors bought the building, planning to restore it for residential and commercial use with design work by Epoch Architecture.
We toured the building twice during the restoration, capturing photographs of the progress on our second trip. Enjoy views from the basement to the rooftop at The Hibberd Building:
Charles B. Hibberd founded Hibberd Printing Company in a small building in the 100 block of North Main Street.
That original Main Street location was destroyed by an 1892 fire, forcing a move to 129 North Michigan St., near where Vegetable Buddies is located today.
Upon Charles’ death in 1901, management of the company was transferred to his elder brother John A. Hibberd. John was a practicing attorney in South Bend and a prominent leader, holding positions in the Indian State Senate, Citizens Loan, Trust & Savings Co., and First Presbyterian Church. among others.
John led the Hibberd Printing Company to significant growth, printing newspapers, city directories, advertising brochures, and eventually expanding the bookbinding business to include book publishing. To accommodate the growing business, John oversaw the construction of the new Hibberd printing plant in 1926 at 321 South Main Street. John retired from the printing business in 1931, at the age of 76, and transferred ownership and management to his nephew, Charles’ son, Carl L. Hibberd, Sr. who was already active in the family business
Carl L. Hibberd, Sr. managed the printing company until shortly before his death in 1968 at the age of 79. Like his uncle John, Carl was active in the South Bend community beyond the printing business, holding positions in the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Scottish Rite, Izaak Walton League, and Fidelity Investment Co. among others.
After Carl Sr.’s death, the Hibberd Printing Co. was eventually sold to Sommers Graphics who would operate out of the South Main Street location for several decades.
Historical information c/o Kathleen Neal
Mark Neal, former Deputy Mayor of South Bend and current Principal at Bradley Company, is leading the project alongside co-investors Kathleen Neal, Kyle Copelin, Marghi Copelin, Deirdre Mylod, Paul Worland, and three other local couples. After our second walk through the building, he shared the original motivation for buying the building:
We bought the building first and foremost not to lose it to a wrecking ball as we have lost so many in our community in others' efforts to revitalize the city. The Hibberd seemed to be a perfect fit for us and what we enjoy – (i) an older building with great bones and a great story of South Bend and the families (Charles, John and Carl Hibberd) that helped to make our city such a thriving community; (ii) downtown location; and (iii) a great community investment with friends of ours who all either live, work or have children (grandchildren) who live/work in SB.
The North side of the building is flanked by the imposing AT&T building, a feature I immediately fell in love with. Seen up close the building’s stone is impeccably maintained, adding a simple elegance to the view. If I could choose any building in South Bend to monopolize my North-facing windows, this is without question the one.
In the two photos below we shift to the South face of the building featuring splendid views of Studebaker’s administration and assembly buildings along with the South Bend Cubs baseball field. It’s a unique vantage point made accessible by small balconies in some units, and floor-to-ceiling windows in others:
And finally, what will soon be South Bend’s first rooftop terrace:
To Kyle, Marghi, Mark, Kathleen, Deirdre, and Paul – thank you for investing your time, energy, and resources in South Bend. It will no doubt become commonplace for people to invest in building projects downtown but with The Hibberd you are part of a small, growing contingent bent on willing the city forward. We wish you and your tenants continued success.