Adaptive Reuse in Pittsburgh, PA at U-Haul Moving & Storage of Pittsburgh North Shore

Building History

The Wolverine Supply and Manufacturing Company was founded in 1903 by Benjamin Franklin Bain. Bain studied mechanics and engineering at the the Michigan Agricultural College and got his start creating metal kitchen tools, household supplies as well as the tools and dies to make them. Eventually Bain stumbled upon an opportunity to get into the toy manufacturing business and he became inspired to make tin battleships toys, space age pinball machines and play home appliances. The original Wolverine headquarters was in the Phipps Power Building near Stanwix Street & Duquesne Boulevard in downtown Pittsburgh though the company would eventually relocate in 1913 after Bain had a large 3-story toy factory constructed on a new site on Fontella Street between Page and Western Avenues. Wolverine Supply and Manufacturing Company would grow to provide over 450 jobs near the peak of the holiday season each year. The toy factory was enlarged twice over the years and all buildings still remain intact. Remnants of the proud “Wolverine Supply & Mfg. Co.” name and the large word “TOYS” are still visible on the building today. In 1962 the company changed their name to Wolverine Toy Company. U-Haul eventually acquired the Wolverine Supply and Manufacturing Company building in 2013. 

Environmental Impact

Serving U-Haul customers since 2013, 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:

  • 115 tons of metal manufacturing & transportation prevented
  • 15,207 tons of new concrete pours avoided
  • 15,435 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 Pittsburgh community:

  • 6,610,714 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions prevented
  • Steel Use

    Steel Production 115 tons (104 tonnes) of steel manufacturing and delivery saved to date

  • Energy Use

    Energy 0 kWh annual energy savings

  • Concrete Use

    Concrete 15,207 tons (13,799 tonnes) of new concrete pours avoided to date

  • CO2 Emissions

    Emissions 6,610,714 lbs (2,998,600 kgs) of greenhouse gas emissions prevented

  • Landfill Debris

    Landfill Debris 15,435 lbs (14,006 kgs) of construction debris prevented

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