302 W. Washington St.
South Bend Indiana 46601United States
Midwest Living Recommends
This tour showcases an eclectic blend of architectural beauties, many of them former homes of area civic and business leaders.
The half-mile walking tour of West Washington Street is a pleasant way to see how South Bend's elite lived more than 100 years ago. Print a map of the self-guided walking tour, which covers 24 homes. We definitely recommend starting at 302 W. Washington Street, the First Presbyterian Church (No. 1 on the printed guide) so you can end with the extraordinary Copshaholm, a 38-room mansion now serving as a museum for the Northern Indiana Center for History. In between, you'll find 22 examples of nearly every form of architecture, including neoclassic, Victorian, Italianate and Prairie. We enjoyed the splendor and the stories in the printed guide. For example, the massive Queen Anne at 420 West Washington was actually built on Lafayette Boulevard and moved to its current spot. The homes are in different life stages right now. Some have been lovingly restored as homes. Some are professional offices. Two are bed-and-breakfasts. Sadly, some of the properties have fallen into disrepair and two were actually for sale during our visit. The beauty of the self-guided walking tour was that we could wander at our own pace, studying the landscaping and the welcoming front porches. It was a rewarding tour. Guided tours are also available occasionally or can be scheduled ahead.