Then & Now: A Downtown South Bend Architectural Walking Tour returns to Downtown South Bend First Fridays with six guided tours on May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, and October 4 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The tours, presented by Downtown South Bend, Inc. (DTSB), last approximately 90 minutes, covering over 20 historical buildings and more than a half-dozen city blocks in the heart of downtown South Bend.

Downtown tours begin at the American Trust Company clock at the corner of Washington and Michigan streets, allowing participants to learn about South Bend’s origin as a trading post along the St. Joseph River. A wide variety of architectural styles will be viewed, with some buildings dating back to pre-Civil War days.

Some of the tours will be of the beautiful West Washington Street area, a National Register District showcasing an exemplary and eclectic blend of architectural styles and structures. Once home to influential citizens, titans of industry, civic leaders, and other prominent families, West Washington Street is now replete with businesses and residents valuing and preserving the fine architectural legacy left in their care by those that preceded them. West Washington tours (June, September, and October First Fridays) meet at 6:00 p.m. at the historic Ambassadors for Christ Church, 302 W. Washington St. (the southwest corner of Washington and Lafayette.)

Tour guide Steve Szaday with the St. Joseph County Department of Infrastructure, Planning, and Growth, in conjunction with Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County, will lead the evening tours, disclosing the visionaries, architects, and builders who helped bring the city’s treasures to life while also discussing the adaptive re-uses of many buildings and reliving the memories of those lost to urban renewal.

Tours are $10 per person (cash only) with reservations requested for each tour. Reservations can be made online at or by calling Downtown South Bend at 574- 282-1110. Hundreds of area residents and visitors have taken the tour since its inception in 2010.