Adaptive Reuse in Chicago, IL at U-Haul Moving & Storage of Logan Square

Allan Yang - Chief Sustainability Scientist

Building History

While coin operated vending machines may now seem like a part of the distant past, they were once commonly used to sell all kinds of goods and products,  including fortunes and songs. The beautiful Mills Novelty Company factory and administration building held one of the world's largest manufacturers of coin operated machines. The company was founded by Mortimer Birdsul Mills in the 1880’s, though Mortimer would be awarded his first official patent for a coin-actuated vending machine in 1891. The ground breaking patent allowed the customer to reconfigure what was sold in the vending machine and have it still be delivered like a typical coin slot machine. The company would also later become popular for their slot machines and jukeboxes. In 1944 the company changed its name to Mills Industries, Incorporated and the slot machine division would became owned by Bell-O-Matic Corporation. The Bellomatic Corporation was the world's exsclusive distributor of Mills Bell Products and they adopted the playful slogan "It's a Jewel of a Bell, this Mills Jewel Bell".U-Haul acquired the building in 1999 and opened for business in 2002 after the first phase of renovations were complete. 

Environmental Impact

Serving U-Haul customers since 2002, this facility was built through Adaptive Reuse of an abandoned building. Adaptive Reuse promotes infill development in an effort to strengthen communities, with the following benefits achieved at this site:

  • 224 tons of metal manufacturing & transportation prevented
  • 32,756 tons of new concrete pours avoided
  • 34,187 tons of construction and demolition debris prevented

Energy-efficiency and waste-reduction programs at this facility provide the following estimated benefits each year for the Chicago community:

  • 361,454 kWh annual energy savings
  • 14,338,225 lbs greenhouse gas emissions prevented
  • Steel Use

    Steel Production 224 tons of steel manufacturing and delivery saved to date

  • Energy Use

    Energy 361454 kWh annual energy savings

  • Concrete Use

    Concrete 32756 tons of new concrete pours avoided to date

  • CO2 Emissions

    Emissions 14338225 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions prevented

  • Landfill Debris

    Landfill Debris 34187 tons of construction debris prevented