If you're an architecture aficionado in South Bend, Indiana, you're in luck. While the Windy City gets all the glory for its architecture tours, you don't have to drive all the way to Chicago to experience Art Deco office buildings from the 1920's or Classical Revival hotels from the 1890's. Right here in South Bend, we have more than 20 well-preserved buildings that show off the best of American and European architectural styles from the past 130 years. And on the first Friday of every month, a local history expert leads a downtown walking tour that highlights them.
"Then & Now: A Downtown South Bend Architecture Walking Tour" leaves at 5:30 from the American Trust Co. clock, and its route varies according to the season. Whether you're a history buff, an art student, or just a South Bend resident who's curious about the city you call home, this monthly walking tour is a great opportunity to learn more about our historic downtown area.
Our Cressy & Everett real estate agents recommend this tour to every new resident, because it's a great way to get to know your new hometown. At just $2 per person, the walking tour is also a steal – but that makes it pretty popular. It also happens just six times a year, usually beginning in June and ending in October, to accommodate our long Midwest winters. Just make sure you call or go online to reserve your spots ahead of time, because most tours sell out a few weeks early. On the day of the tour, bring $2 in cash for the tour guide.
Some of the stops on the walking tour are still operating as originally intended. You can still catch a show at the restored Morris Performing Arts Centre, which was built in 1921, and you'll still find bank offices at the Citizens Bank Building, which has been on W. Jefferson since 1913. However, most of these historic places have evolved along with downtown South Bend, and this walking tour is a monthly opportunity to keep their histories alive. As you stroll down Main Street, Colfax, and other downtown blocks, you'll compare old photos to the current facades in front of you as you learn about the old courthouses, banks, hotels, and monuments that line the streets of South Bend.
Can't make the Friday evening tour? That's okay. You can still walk the walking tour route and check out some of the most historic businesses and homes in South Bend. Free maps are available online or at the Downtown South Bend (DTSB) store on Michigan Street. These brochures note more than two dozen landmarks and buildings in South Bend's historic downtown area, with historic photos for reference and notes about the architectural styles and eras that inspired each building's architects. They also contain miniature maps of the recommended route, with each stop clearly marked for your convenience.
Are you looking for a home in South Bend? Contact Cressy & Everett Real Estate for more information about our listings and our talented real estate agents in South Bend. We love our historic town, and we'd be happy to help you play a role in its ongoing growth.