Akron: Studebaker Showroom

Preservationists in Akron are reeling after the sudden, unexpected demolition of a piece of the city’s automotive and architectural history.  The old Studebaker building was once a dealership and an office supply store and will now be an empty lawn space for a school to put benches.  Sadly, this was not the article I expected to write today.

There were a number of old stone Studebaker logos along the exterior of the building.  Inside, a ramp led from upper-level storage down into huge, open rooms, the showroom in front and painted bright teals and soft pinks with midcentury modern railings.

 

From Betty Lin-Fisher’s 2015 article:

“Carone said the building was taken down this past week because it had become too difficult to keep up with the graffiti on the building, sometimes at such heights Carone said he’s not sure how the graffiti artists did it.”

Motion sensor lights and (even fake) cameras would’ve been a much more level-headed response.  But, no.
Also, to answer Carone’s question, the vandals use fire extinguishers.

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These photos were taken on December 5th, and the place was demolished a little more than a week later.  With such a narrow window, I feel so lucky to have gotten to see it.  We had no idea.

So that’s that. Another historical treasure has been lost, and fans of the building are trying to take the hit as a lesson learned when it comes to saving historical architecture.  This is why it’s so important to look out for these vulnerable, old places in your neighborhood.

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