The Selle Building (Ohio Brewing Company)
The Selle Building was constructed in 1887 for the Selle Gear Company which was established in 1886 and produced components for carriages and later produced automobile parts. The company was purchased by the Hower family in 1903 and renamed the Akron-Selle Company. The Selle Building underwent many changes throughout the decades, as transportation changed from horse-drawn carriages to cars, trucks, and other vehicles. The Selle Company innovated from the production of wagon and carriage hardware, to gears and gauges for gasoline tanks, in addition to metal stamping parts for trucks, aircraft, and military ordinance until the early 1950s. In 1901, a forging room was added to the building and a small loading dock was also added to the building in 1943. Tragedy also struck in 1943 when a tornado demolished parts of the Selle Building. The Akron-Selle company occupied the building until 1997 when the company moved to another location. The Akron-Selle company closed its doors for good in 2001. The building was purchased by the Ohio Brewing Company in 2003, and that company still occupies the building today.
Backstory and Context
The Selle Building was constructed in 1887; the building was 70,000 square feet. The Selle Gear Company officially incorporated on Sept. 25, 1886. The company derives its name for German immigrant Ferdinand Selle. Selle was an infamous inventor during the second industrial revolution; Selle’s patents had caught the eye of both Cleveland and Akron investors, which was the catalyst for the Selle Gear Company. Initially, the Selle Gear Company produced hardware for carriages. The company then evolved to produce parts for automobiles, such as the gauges for gas tanks. In 1903 the Selle Gear Company was purchased by Akron’s Hower Family, changing the name to the Akron-Selle Company. During the Second World War, the Akron-Selle Company began producing military products. The Akron-Selle Company continued to manufacture parts for automobiles in Akron until 1997, when the company officially left the building.
The Selle Building underwent many changes since its original construction in 1887. In 1901, a one-story forging room was added to the building. In 1943, a small one-story loading dock was added to the building; however, tragedy also struck in 1943. A tornado tour through Akron, destroying part of the Selle Building, including the forging room as well as a blacksmith room. Overall the Selle Building retained its architectural integrity throughout the decades.
The Akron-Selle Company abandoned the Selle Building in 1997. The historic building was put up for sale in 1998; it remained for sale for the next five years. In 2003, the building was purchased by the Ohio Brewing Company, which still occupies the building to this day. The Akron-Selle company continued to operate after leaving their original building in 1997; however, in March of 2001, the Akron-Selle Company dissolved.
Since 2003, the Ohio Brewing Company, which was established in 1997, has owned the Selle Building, and has opened a number of other locations in the Akron area.
Bakos, Bud. The Selle Building, https://blogs.uakron.edu/. March 18th 2014. Accessed November 15th 2019. https://blogs.uakron.edu/rubbercityrevisited/tag/the-selle-building/.
The Selle Gear Company. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form . Published September 28th 2005. National Register of Historic Places .
About, Ohio Brewing Company. Accessed June 8th 2020. https://www.ohiobrewing.com/about.