Motor Wheel Lofts

Steel Window Replication

Historical Background

The Motor Wheel Lofts Building was built in 1916 by William K. Prudden to manufacture wheels for carriages and wagons. As the automobile industry grew, the company transitioned into a steel wheel supplier for the likes of Oldsmobile, General Motors, and Ford. The Prudden Wheel Company Building as it was originally known, was one of 18 buildings built on the site at East Saginaw Street in Lansing, Michigan. The four-story building was constructed with reinforced concrete pillars and brick curtain walls. The primary facades are dominated by window openings 18 feet wide by 9 1/2 feet high, industrial hot rolled steel windows. The building has over 28,000 square feet of daylight window area and over 170,000 square feet of floor space. The building remained vacant from 1996 until it was converted into the Motor Wheel Lofts by developer Harry H. Helper.

BlackBerry's Role

  • Provided Historic Window Site Review analyzing the existing condition of the steel windows in the building to determine the acceptable remediation method.
  • Working with Traco, a national window manufacturer, designed a new narrow site line historic replica product. The accepted product was the NX-300 Series thermally broken aluminum fixed and projecting window. The final design was approved by SHPO and NPS as a replica window for the original steel windows.
  • Supplied and installed windows in over 150 openings, making this one of the largest installations of its kind in the country.
  • The project was awarded LEED Platinum Certification as well as Federal Historic Tax Credit approval.

Current Use

The Motor Wheel Lofts have been a huge success for the community as well as a successful project for the developer. The property has over 125 apartment units featuring 15 different loft style floor plans. The project is still one of the largest projects of its type as a historic renovation and restoration. It has inspired many projects that have followed moving forward the reclamation of abandoned buildings in the State of Michigan.

Project Team

  • Owner: Prudden Wheel Lofts, Inc.
  • Construction Manager: H Inc.
  • Completed 2007

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