Wonder Bread Building / Single Speed Brewing

Preservation at its Best 2017, Sustainability: Wonderbread Building / Single Speed Brewing (Waterloo)

For those interested in the intersection of preservation and sustainability, it’s understood that Historic buildings contain a tremendous amount of embodied energy. For that reason, all historic preservation projects are sustainable.

Wonderbread Building (Single Speed Brewing), 2017 Preservation at Its Best

The Waterloo Wonder Bread building was built in 1928 and was a full scale operation for Wonder Bread until 2012, when the facility was closed. For a little over three years, the 40,000 square feet building sat empty until the City of Waterloo purchased it in August 2015.​

This large facility was repurposed from a facility for making bread to a facility for making beer for Single Speed Brewery—which is essentially liquid bread with added benefits. The facility includes new brew house, grain handling system, walk-in coolers, indoor and outdoor bar, expo kitchen, dining, retail space, and loading dock.​

The project team decided early on that the rehabilitation would be a tax credit project—meaning they would follow the secretary of interior standards AND it would be a LEED project and follow the requirements of the USGBC.​

As a sustainability in historic preservation winner, the judging panel appreciated that this large factory building was repurposed largely for industrial production—a compatible use—and that it ties into the city of Waterloo’s larger vision for making downtown a sustainable and livable including the River Loop, Sportsplex and Young Arena. Additionally, the large flat roof in need of repair was an appropriate candidate for a large solar array.​

MidWestOne Bank had the privilege of being the lead on the funding of this project.  MidWestOne Bank partnered up with Black Hawk Economic Development and utilized the SBA 504 program.​

Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2017 Preservation at its Best award winners include: