Aloyes Bauer opened a mill he called A. Bauer and Co. in 1888 after buying the property from a carriage company.
The mill made cotton batting and cotton flock for bedding and furniture. In 1915, the company started making seat cushion padding for automobiles. The firm incorporated in 1917, becoming Bauers Limited. At that time the building was 1,533 square metres (16,500 square feet) in size and the company employed 22.
In 1933 the company began manufacturing yarn and twine. Around 1939, a new product, sisal padding, was introduced. It was sold to automobile and furniture makers.
In 1954, the company began producing foam rubber. It was sold in padding form to both furniture and auto industries for seating.
Bauers opened a second factory on Dutton Drive in Waterloo in 1966. The company’s name was changed to Bauer Industries Ltd. in 1973.
Over the years the company expanded at least 12 times; eventually the buildings consisted of 23,225 square metres (250,000 square feet) at the two Waterloo plants. As of its 110th anniversary in 1998, Bauer Industries employed approximately 250 people, operating the Waterloo plants and one factory in Hildebran, N.C., and a Detroit -area sales office.
In the fall of 2001, Bauer Industries Ltd. closed its King Street plant and consolidated operations at its Dutton Drive facility. By then, there were only 160 employees. After Bauer moved out, the King Street building was mainly used for storage.
Uptown Waterloo now has a wonderfully transformed historic Bauer Industries building. The Bauer Buildings & Bauer Lofts are a vibrant urban destination that combines restored original architecture with modern construction. The buildings host loft residences, street front stores, indoor marketplace, courtyard cafés, restaurants, retail space and office space.