When Alfred Pennyworth was killed saving Batman and Robin, Bruce Wayne established the Alfred Foundation in his name, establishing this building as the foundation's headquarters. When Alfred turned up alive, however, Bruce changed the name to the Wayne Foundation in honor of his father, Thomas Wayne (Detective Comics Issue #356). Bruce Wayne and his family uses this as a secondary home from the Wayne Manor. Below the building lies a bunker that Bruce Wayne, as the Batman, uses as a secondary base from the Batcave. The cave below the building would be reused as the first headquarters for the Outsiders group following its formation.
The building and its history would later be altered and retconned following the Infinite Crisis.