THE McCARTHY STORY

Built from Humble Beginnings

It was over 150 years ago when an Irish immigrant named Timothy McCarthy began a lumber business in Ann Arbor, Michigan, building farmhouses and barns. The company he founded in 1864 is now a multi-billion dollar construction firm and one of the largest and most diversified commercial construction companies in America. 

For 138 years, we were primarily a family owned business. That changed in 2002 when the company became 100% employee owned. Each of us now has a personal — and financial — stake in the company's future, and each of us now has a greater responsibility to each other to innovate and provide real value. the net result? An empowering environment that is entrepreneurial in nature, and is directed towards providing our clients with creative and value-oriented building solutions. 

1864

milestones

June 20, 1864

Irish immigrant Timothy McCarthy begins a small business in Ann Arbor, Michigan, building farmhouses and barns.

Flash forward

Today, McCarthy has office locations in 10 different states.

1865

news

April 9, 1865

The Civil War ends.

The past is the cause of the present, and the present will be the cause of the future.

Abraham Lincoln

1877

people

Timothy McCarthy builds a new family home in Ann Arbor, Mich., after the family’s log cabin burned. The home still stands today.

1890

people

John W. McCarthy, eldest son of Timothy, falls in love with Hannah Bently and follows her to Farmington, Missouri, where the two are married.

1903

firsts

John W. McCarthy helps construct the State Hospital Number 4 administration building in Farmington, Missouri, becoming McCarthy's first recorded healthcare project.

Flash forward

Modern Healthcare Magazine ranked McCarthy the largest healthcare general contractor in America in 2013.

1904

news

St. Louis hosts the World's Fair, sparking a construction boom that lasts until World War I.

1907

milestones

March 23, 1907

John W. McCarthy and his brothers, Timothy Jr. and Charles, incorporate their new business, McCarthy Construction Company.

1913

projects

The Scott County Courthouse in Benton, Missouri, is completed.

Flash forward

Today, many government agencies rely on McCarthy for high quality construction at the best final cost.

1914

news

World War I begins.

1915

firsts

The Missouri Building at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco is completed and becomes McCarthy’s first California project. 

Flash forward

McCarthy has a major presence in California today with offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, Newport Beach and San Diego. In 2013, McCarthy was ranked the largest builder in California for the second year in a row by Engineering-News Record Magazine.

1917

milestones

September 17, 1917

John W., Charles and Timothy Jr. move the company to St. Louis.

1926

milestones

The company changes its name to McCarthy Brothers Construction Company, a name that would last for many years to come.

1929

news

The U.S. stock market collapses, sparking an economic depression.

1933

firsts

The Fleet Air Base at Coco Solo in the Panama Canal zone chooses McCarthy as its builder. This represents the company’s first federal project. Working conditions in the Panama Canal Zone are difficult and help solidify McCarthy’s culture of caring for its employees.

Flash forward

McCarthy launches its Heart Hats community outreach program in 2005 to help make a real difference in the lives of those in the local community. In 2015, more than $1.5 million and literally thousands of volunteer hours were dedicated to making a difference.

1936

people

John W., president of McCarthy since its incorporation in 1907, dies. Timothy McCarthy (affectionately known as Mr. Tim) becomes president of the company.

1939

projects

The new Federal Building in Anchorage, Alaska, is completed by McCarthy.

Flash forward

This project is now included on the National Register of Historic Places.

1945

news

World War II ends.

1945

milestones

April 1945

Merryl McCarthy is instrumental in the purchase of Rock Hill Quarries Company, an aggregate plant and quarry in St. Louis.

Flash forward

The location also becomes the eventual site of McCarthy’s corporate headquarters.

1948

projects

A nurses’ home for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Wichita, Kansas, is completed by McCarthy. This project represents the beginning of an important relationship.

Flash forward

Today, almost 82% of our work comes from repeat clients — some of whom have been coming back to McCarthy for decades. The employee-owners at McCarthy particularly treasure this repeat business and take it as the highest praise.

1959

people

John E. McCarthy, son of Mr. Tim, becomes president of the company.

1961

projects

McCarthy wins the bid to build the Priory Chapel in St. Louis. Building the chapel’s parabolic arches is a challenge and helps establish McCarthy’s reputation as a skilled builder developing creative solutions.

Flash forward

McCarthy’s reputation as a creative builder spans a wide variety of markets, cities and industries throughout the U.S.

1961

McCarthy begins building a three-quarter mile section of floodwall along St. Louis’ northern riverfront, the first of several floodwall contracts awarded to the company. 

Flash forward

In the flood of 1993, these floodwalls helped protect downtown St. Louis.

1963

projects

Barnes Hospital in St. Louis selects McCarthy to construct its Queeny Tower, a 17-story ambulatory care center that goes on to finish ahead of schedule. 

Flash forward

Healthcare clients turn to McCarthy again and again to tackle the toughest construction challenges — like Grady Hospital, which is counting on McCarthy to build its new Emergency Department on its busy campus in Atlanta.

1966

milestones

June 24, 1966

McCarthy buys two acres of land near Rock Hill Quarries and moves the company headquarters to 1341 North Rock Hill Road in suburban St. Louis. 

1969

news

Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon and takes, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  

1971

people

Mike McCarthy becomes the new chief operating officer of the company.

Flash forward

In 2002, Mike McCarthy sells his shares of the company to employees, making McCarthy one of the nation’s oldest, 100 percent employee-owned construction firms with majority ownership via an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).  

1972

milestones

Mike McCarthy founds McBro to expand McCarthy’s parking structure work. McBro also moves the company into construction management for hospitals.

Flash forward

McCarthy becomes one of the nation’s leading parking structure builders and its projects include one of the largest, most visible parking structures in America for the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

1973

firsts

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Mason City, Iowa, awards McCarthy the company’s first design-build project while St. Joseph Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, awards the company its first construction management job.

Flash forward

Project delivery options continue to expand, providing improved outcomes for owners. McCarthy completes more than $10 billion in work on design-build projects.

1974

projects

McCarthy rebuilds St. Louis' downtown skyline with the 22-story Boatmen's Bank Tower, 352-room Spanish Pavilion and new national headquarters for General American Life Insurance Company.

Flash forward

The St. Louis Business Journal repeatedly ranks McCarthy the Largest Contractor in St. Louis. A look around the St. Louis community showcases the mark that McCarthy has made on the metro area.

1975

firsts

St. Joseph Hospital awards McBro its first project in Arizona.

1975

news

The Vietnam war ends.

1976

firsts

The University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia becomes McCarthy’s first hospital project in the Southeast. 

1976

milestones

April 1976

Engineering News-Record names McCarthy the top construction management firm in the nation.

1979

milestones

May 1, 1979

McCarthy purchases TGK Constructors and opens a Phoenix office and Gerry Murphy (pictured) becomes president.

1981

projects

Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento, California becomes McCarthy’s first modern-day project in California. 

Flash forward

Stanford University Medical Center hires McCarthy to build its new technologically-advanced 812,000-sf replacement hospital.

1982

milestones

McBro has more than 275 employees working in 32 different states and begins opening additional offices around the country.

1982

projects

McCarthy builds International Place in Boston, the largest project in its history outside of St. Louis to date.

1982

firsts

March 1982

For the first time, McCarthy is ranked the #1 Hospital Construction Manager in U.S.

1984

projects

The twin tower design of the Bayview Bridge at Quincy, Illinois was McCarthy’s first cable stayed bridge project.

1984

people

Roger Burnet becomes the company’s first president without the last name McCarthy.

1984

milestones

June 4, 1984

McCarthy opens an office in Newport Beach, California.

Flash forward

Engineering News-Record ranks McCarthy the #1 contractor in California in August 2013.

1985

milestones

McCarthy reaches more than one billion dollars in sales.

1986

milestones

McCarthy completes the Ataba Square and Opera Square parking structures in Cairo, Egypt. 

1988

projects

September 1, 1988

Construction begins on Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, McCarthy’s largest contract to date.

1988

projects

October 1, 1988

Construction of the 1,387,000-sf, 620-room Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona is completed. 

1990

projects

Construction of the Clark Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River between Alton, Illinois and St. Louis, is featured on NOVA.

1990

firsts

McCarthy becomes the first company in the industry to provide safety glasses to all employees at construction sites.

Flash forward

McCarthy is recognized as the safest large contractor in America.

1991

milestones

April 8, 1991

McCarthy develops a new company logo and “The Dude” is born. 

Flash forward

The Dude celebrates his 21st birthday with parties across America.

1991

milestones

April 8, 1991

McCarthy’s Pacific Division opens an office in Sacramento and soon after wins a bid to build the Sacramento Convention Center. 

1992

firsts

McCarthy sets a new industry standard by providing all employees at construction sites 100 percent Fall Protection Tie Off at heights of over six feet. 

1992

milestones

McCarthy establishes Total Quality Management program.

Flash forward

McCarthy again leads the industry in construction quality and creates the “Quality Without Question” Program.

1993

milestones

McCarthy introduces The Melvin Award honoring the top projects from each division and the Roger Burnet Award, chosen from the winners of the Melvin Award, recognizing the top project companywide each year. The first recipient of the “Rog” is Motorola CS-1 Phase 1B in Tempe, Arizona (pictured).

Flash forward

The 2015 Roger Burnet Award goes to St. Jude Medical Center Northwest Tower in Fullerton, Calif.

1995

people

Mike Hurst becomes the new president and chief operating officer.

1995

milestones

March 10, 1995

McCarthy opens a full-service office in San Francisco.

1995

firsts

September 14, 1995

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, selects McCarthy for its East Building Addition. McCarthy develops a first-of-its kind architectural concrete forming and placing technique known as MIRASTONE. 

Flash forward

McCarthy is selected among the Top 25 Contractors in America by Concrete Magazine.

1995

milestones

November 8, 1995

McCarthy’s Las Vegas office opens.

1996

milestones

McCarthy establishes an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), taking the first step toward becoming 100 percent employee-owned.

1997

milestones

McCarthy unveils its new mission statement, reaffirming the intent to be “The Best Builder in America.”

1998

milestones

August 3, 1998

McCarthy's Dallas office opens.

1998

September 1, 1998

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California, is completed and is the first hospital to incorporate seismic base isolation technology. 

Flash forward

Clients across California turn to McCarthy to help them meet ever-tighter seismic building requirements.

1999

milestones

McCarthy Brothers Company changes its name to McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., reflecting ownership by its employees.

2000

people

Mike Bolen becomes the first CEO in the company’s history without the last name McCarthy.

2000

projects

May 26, 2000

A major renovation of the iconic Space Needle in Seattle is completed.

2001

news

On September 11, America is forever altered as the war on terror comes to American soil.

2001

projects

March 31, 2001

McCarthy completes the unique net-zero Sonoma State University Environmental Technology Center in Rohnert Park, California.

Flash forward

McCarthy completes the only “net zero energy” biological laboratory in the world for J. Craig Venter in La Jolla, California.

2001

projects

June 2001

McCarthy completes the Sandia Casino, just one of several casino complexes built for Native American tribes.

2002

projects

March 24, 2002

McCarthy completes Hollywood & Highland in downtown Hollywood, California, including the new Kodak Theatre (subsequently renamed the Dolby Theatre) to house the Academy Awards®.

2002

milestones

April 12, 2002

Mike McCarthy sells his majority interest in the company to McCarthy employees, making the company 100 percent employee owned.

Flash forward

In 2012, the company celebrates 10 years of becoming 100 percent employee owned.

2002

projects

November 2002

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center opens in November as a “green” laboratory focused on sustainability and limiting its environmental impact.

2004

milestones

The Iron Mike Award is introduced in honor of Mike McCarthy, recognizing the best overall McCarthy Division each year.

2004

projects

November 1, 2004

Construction on Kaiser Permanente’s new flagship Oakland Medical Center in downtown Oakland, California begins. 

2005

milestones

April 5, 2005

McCarthy’s Atlanta office opens.

2005

milestones

May 24, 2005

MC Industrial, Inc., an independent McCarthy company, is created to serve industrial clients nationwide.

2005

milestones

July 5, 2005

McCarthy opens a new full-service office in San Diego. 

2005

milestones

October 2005

McCarthy Heart Hats community outreach program is introduced to formalize a commitment to improving local communities.

2005

firsts

December 2, 2005

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emerging Infectious Diseases Lab is completed in Atlanta, one of only eight BSL-4 labs in North America.

Flash forward

McCarthy is considered as one of the premier high containment lab builders in America.

2006

firsts

April 2006

McCarthy launches its Quality Without Question program, making the firm the first commercial construction company in America to have a fully integrated quality culture.

2007

news

The subprime mortgage crisis leads to the collapse of the United States housing bubble pushing the nation into a recession.

2007

people

January 1, 2007

Derek Glanvill becomes president and chief operating officer of McCarthy, replacing Mike Hurst who held the position since 1995.

2007

milestones

April 11, 2007

McCarthy is recognized as the Safest Large Contractor in the nation by the Associated General Contractors of America. 

2007

projects

June 2, 2007

The Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant in Phoenix opens, becoming the largest design-build-operate water project in America.

2007

projects

June 15, 2007

The new Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Arizona is completed in just 20 months utilizing Building Information Modeling to help expedite construction. 

Flash forward

The McCarthy Teamsight™ custom project management system is saving owners time and money on projects nationwide.

2008

projects

September 1, 2008

MC Industrial completes two clinker silos, said to be the largest in the world, for the new Holcim (US) cement plant in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri.  

2008

milestones

November 1, 2008

McCarthy opens an office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2009

firsts

August 6, 2009

The NADEV printing plant becomes the first industrial facility in California to achieve LEED Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council.

Flash forward

McCarthy is the largest builder in America to develop an in-house Green Curriculum approved by the Green Building Certification Institute.

2009

projects

August 31, 2009

The AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas is completed and subsequently wins a number of awards 

2010

milestones

April 9, 2010

McCarthy’s Build for Life health and wellness program is launched.

Flash forward

The American Heart Association recognizes McCarthy as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite.

2010

firsts

June 30, 2010

The new Rady Children’s Hospital Acute Care Pavilion in San Diego is the first Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development facility to be LEED Certified. 

2010

projects

August 2010

Considered one of the most complex airport construction projects in the U.S., the LAX Tom Bradley Renovation project completes on time and under budget while the airport remained fully operational.

2010

firsts

October 2010

McCarthy leads the industry to put practical technology tools into the hands of builders in the field with the first introduction of a jobsite BIM kiosk.

Flash forward

Augmented reality is no longer science fiction with its implementation on McCarthy jobsites, bringing real value to on-site staff, partners and owners.

2011

milestones

May 17, 2011

McCarthy hosts an open house for its new office in Houston.

2011

projects

December 22, 2011

Mercy turns to trusted partner McCarthy to serve as construction manager for a new 825,000-square-foot hospital in Joplin, Missouri to replace the former St. John’s Mercy Regional Medical Center demolished in the May 22, 2011 EF-5 tornado, the deadliest tornado in Missouri and the U.S since 1947 directly hit the hospital.

Flash forward

McCarthy is developing new standards for hardening facilities at risk of tornado or hurricane damage through projects such as the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Replacement Hospital in New Orleans.

2012

milestones

February 8, 2012

McCarthy opens an office in Collinsville, Illinois.

2012

milestones

April 12, 2012

McCarthy celebrates 10 years of becoming 100 percent employee- owned.

2012

projects

July 2012

MC Industrial works around the clock, utilizing more than 8,000 craftsman, working together to complete the BP Whiting Refinery Modernization Project – Gas Oil Hydrotreater (GOHT) in Whiting, Indiana.

2012

projects

July 2012

77,643 solar modules are installed in under 60 days to help build Arizona Public Service’s Chino Valley Solar project, strengthening McCarthy’s resume as a renewable energy builder.

2013

milestones

February 3, 2013

McCarthy is recognized as the #6 training organization in America by Training Magazine.

2013

milestones

April 18, 2013

McCarthy opens an office in Kansas City, Kansas.

2013

projects

September 26, 2013

A Hospital Replacement at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is completed under budget and six months ahead of schedule in San Diego.

2014

milestones

January 1, 2014

McCarthy’s 150th Anniversary celebration begins.

2014

milestones

October 31, 2014

McCarthy finalizes the acquisition of Castle Contracting along with its subsidiary CastleGPS. 

2015

people

February 10, 2015

Scott Wittkop becomes president and chief operating officer of McCarthy Holdings, Inc.

2015

milestones

March 23, 2015

McCarthy opens full-service office in Denver.

2015

projects

March 25, 2015

New Stanford Hospital tops off marking a significant milestone in the steel erection phase for the future 824,000-square-foot world-class medical center in Palo Alto, Calif.

2015

projects

May 27, 2015

Ground is formally broken on the final and largest phase of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan., to advance research, diagnostic testing and validation, countermeasure development and diagnostic training for high-consequence livestock diseases. 

2015

projects

June 15, 2015

McCarthy begins working around an iconic landmark as construction begins on the renovation and expansion of the Gateway Arch Visitor Center and Museum.

2016

firsts

February 15, 2016

McCarthy becomes the only construction company to be inducted into the Training magazine’s ‘Training Top 10 Hall of Fame’ for the company’s world-class approach to training and development.