Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

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Museum Receives Matching Challenge Grant

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum has received a matching challenge grant of $420,000 from the Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, Wisconsin, to be used toward repair and restoration of the elaborate Auburn Automobile Company showroom. The showroom itself was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was referred to in the facility’s National Historic Landmark nomination as “12,000 square feet of Art Deco splendor.”

The Jeffris Foundation grant requires a 2-to-1 match within three years. Fundraising to meet the $840,000 match will be part of museum’s $5 million capital campaign that includes sealing the building envelope, ensuring the showroom is dry and ready for restoration.

In preparation of this work, the museum participated in a year-long Historic Structure Report in 2016, which was partially funded by the Jeffris Foundation. The report identifies, details and prioritizes nearly $10 million of repair and restoration work recommended for the building, $5 million of which is necessary and urgent at this time to seal the building envelope.

The building is a highly treasured artifact in the museum collection and is one of the finest examples of art deco architecture in the Midwest.

“We are anxious to secure funding to save the Auburn Automobile Company building, built in 1929, from deterioration and damage caused by a leaking roof and windows. Once the building envelope is sealed, we will concentrate on restoration of the luxurious showroom,’ said museum Executive Director Laura Brinkman. ‘We are so grateful to the Jeffris Family Foundation for this generous grant to repair and restore the breathtaking showroom for generations to come.”

Founded in Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1979, the Jeffris Family Foundation is dedicated to preserving regionally and nationally important historic buildings and decorative arts projects for future generations. The Jeffris Family Foundation assists with the development of historic sites for nonprofit organizations in small towns and cities in eight Midwest states, including Indiana.

Auburn Automotive Heritage, Inc., doing business as Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, is a 501(c)3 educational organization in Auburn, Ind.