The Workingmen’s Beneficial Union was a German Cultural and Union Organization. This building was one of six branches of the WBU in the Greater Pittsburgh area. It was built in 1880 with a 6 lane bowling alley and ballroom event hall added in 1916. The WBU was a major part of its community not only hosting weddings, bowling and drinking, but also sold insurance and mortgages for over 100 years.
The last event that was held at the WBU was on December 31st 1999 for Y2K. This party spanned the whole building and when the party was over people left their cups and cigarettes on the tables and said goodbye. This is how we found the building over 15 years later, along with a lot of water damage.
We bought this building in 2015 with little more than a dream of what it could be and started working away. We got a quick education on zoning and building code as the building was never legally occupied, had 2 paper streets running through it and was about to fall over. We worked as the contractor and learned fast from dropping new trusses for the roof to installing commercial fire doors. We are finished and we want to invite you to enjoy our hard work and help breath life back into this Pittsburgh institution.
Continuing the tradition of the century-old Workingmen’s Beneficial Union established on this Spring Hill site in 1919, Pittsburgh’s WBU is a multi use/cooperative space in the North Side. It is part indoor/outdoor event space, home of Spring Hill Brewing, home of Gaucho’s food wagon, Asado. We take pride in our unique event space and have worked diligently to restore and showcase the history of this once abandoned building