Built for Good From the Beginning
Beating the Odds and Doing the Right Thing has a Long History at Walbridge.
We have a history of adventure. A culture of responding to crisis, of taking and managing risks others wouldn’t touch. The values embedded in our culture were started by George Walbridge and Albert Aldinger – and to understand that we need to go back to the beginning.
The Motor City
Walbridge and Aldinger joined forces in Detroit in 1916 after working together years earlier in Chicago at the Daniel Burnham Architectural Company. They moved to Michigan to help build a burgeoning city that was exploding with growth from its new industry.
It was a rugged time. World War I was upon us and the experiences of Walbridge and Aldinger’s lives created the fire that forged their company. In a very short time they set a culture that would take the industry by storm. In ten months, through difficult labor conditions and vast material shortages, they won 19 major contracts.
Just two years later, George Walbridge quit the construction company he co-founded to accept a commission as a major in the Reserve Engineers Corps, which supported the Army Corps of Engineers. We don’t know the circumstances but can only assume that his country called him to duty. His sense of loyalty and dedication became the bedrock for the belief system at Walbridge.
“I have this day accepted a commission as major in the United States Reserve Engineers Corps and I therefore tender my resignation”
After returning to Detroit, he guided the company through one of its most productive eras in building the community we still see today. Olympia Stadium, Orchestra Hall, the Michigan Central Railroad Terminals and the auto plants that helped put America and Canada on wheels.
He was instrumental in organizing the formation of the Associated General Contractors of America, built on the motto: “Skill, Integrity and Responsibility.”
Words that still make up the foundation of his company, ninety-five years after he built it.