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1/10/2018 12:32:00 PM
South Bend's historic Studebaker fountain on the road to restoration
Business co-owner Emmett Lodge, left, and senior conservator Tom Podnar load pieces of the Studebaker Electric Fountain for transportation to their lab for restoration. Staff photo by Santiago Flores
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Business co-owner Emmett Lodge, left, and senior conservator Tom Podnar load pieces of the Studebaker Electric Fountain for transportation to their lab for restoration. Staff photo by Santiago Flores

Margaret Fosmoe, South Bend Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND -- The Studebaker Electric Fountain, a symbol of civic pride when it was unveiled in 1906, will be restored and placed in a prominent public spot in the community.

The pieces that remain of the 112-year-old fountain— three cherubs riding dolphins, several classical-style female figures and a wide basin — were carefully loaded into a vehicle Tuesday for their journey to Oberlin, Ohio, for restoration.

McKay Lodge Laboratory Fine Art Conservation of Oberlin will handle the work.

In less than eight months, a committee of community volunteers managed to raise $648,900 in private contributions to restore the fountain’s existing pieces and recast missing pieces. The city’s plan is for the fountain to be assembled and unveiled to the public in summer 2019 in Leeper Park.

Like the original fountain, the revitalized landmark will feature dramatic lighting on the fountain and around the lower basin. The LED lighting will be programmable to change colors and patterns, similar to the South Bend River Lights sculpture near the downtown dam.

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