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Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum receives Save America’s Treasures Grant

Photo Supplied/Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

AUBURN, Ind. (Press Release) – The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is excited to announce that the National Park Service has awarded the museum a $500,000.00 matching grant in the maximum amount through the Save America’s Treasures program to preserve and restore its National Historic Landmark Building. The SAT program is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund using revenue from Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenue, not tax dollars.

The Save America’s Treasures matching grant will begin the critical components to our preservation plans as it will replace the leaking roof and seal the top half of the building envelope and install new HVAC equipment prior to exterior and interior rehabilitation and restoration activities to be completed in future phases.

For forty-seven years, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum has provided a meaningful experience through the significant portrayal of the automotive industry as a transformation in the American story.  We are dedicated to preserving the history of design, engineering, and architecture; celebrating its relevance to our present and future; and continuing to be a driving force.

In 2018 the museum launched a capital campaign with a goal of $5 million to address the critical needs of the building and to embark upon an informed preservation and rehabilitation plan that will honor the legacy of all who contributed to one of the country’s most innovative and influential periods.  A Historic Structures Report has been the guide to this preservation and restoration plan, and with this Save America’s Treasures grant, the museum has reached the halfway mark of its $5 million goal.

“Through the generosity and support of our local, regional, and national donors and partners, we have reached a critical milestone in our campaign to save our landmark building,” states Brandon J. Anderson, Executive Director & CEO of the museum.  “As the caring and passionate stewards of our collections and artifacts, our building needs to be preserved, restored, and rehabilitated to continue to meet its high standards as a National Historic Landmark and to protect its integrity and its priceless, irreplaceable contents.”

The campaign’s future funding-dependent phases will repair, restore, and preserve all the original metal windows and frames, deteriorating brick and mortar, deteriorating cast iron window lintels, replace electrical, plumbing, and HVAC equipment, repoint masonry, and clean and protect the building for another hundred years.  Through completed scientific paint analysis, period appropriate paint restoration of the Company Showroom and other parts of the building that have never been open to the public before will also be implemented in future phases.

Ninety years ago, industrialist E.L. Cord commissioned the design and construction of our building to be a capstone to his empire.  Designed by A.M. Strauss, the Art Deco masterpiece served as the brain and nerve center of the Auburn Automobile Company and Duesenberg, Inc.  Out of this building came some of the most epic and forward-thinking designs in automotive history.  Innovative designers, marketing geniuses, and tenacious engineers all contributed.

In 2005, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior bestowed upon the museum the status of National Historic Landmark, which is the highest distinction in the country.  Regarding the history of the site, it is states that, “The facility possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America.”

The National Park Service has partnered with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities to award this matching grant to better support the preservation of nationally significant historic properties and collections.  This project is supported through the Save America’s Treasures Grants Program, provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

For additional information on the museum’s capital campaign and how your tax-deductible gift or donation can be a part of preserving the past for the future, please contact Brandon J. Anderson, Executive Director & CEO, at or 260-925-1444.

For more information on the museum, please visit us online at, or on Facebook at ACDAM1974.

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