Delegates attending the Brotherhood’s convention in 1908 voted to fund construction of a union-owned headquarters building. Opened in 1911, the Engineers Building was a 13-story office building in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It housed executive offices of the union’s top elected officers and was also home to a 1,250-seat auditorium where the union hosted delegates for national conventions.
The building served the Brotherhood and its members for over 70 years. In 1988, the Engineers Building was sold to a development group that wanted the space to erect an office building and hotel. The threat of a very expensive eminent domain fight in the court system and the overwhelming support of local government officials for the development of the new hotel and office building led the BLET to determine that it must negotiate the best possible deal in the sale of the Engineers Building. Less than a year later, the Engineers Building was demolished and the union moved its headquarters across the street to a second BLET-owned building, the Standard Building.