Turner Construction

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Turner Construction Company
IndustryConstruction Management,
FounderHenry C. Turner
375 Hudson Street, New York City, NY 10014
United States
Area served
Key people
Peter J. Davoren (President & CEO)
Karen Gould (CFO)
ProductsGreen buildings
Data centers
ServicesPreconstruction Consulting
Revenue$10 billion (2014)
Number of employees
5,200 (2014)
SubsidiariesTurner International
Turner Universal
Turner Logistics
Service Building Products
Tompkins Builders

Turner Construction Company is an American construction company. It is one of the largest construction management companies in the United States of America, with a construction volume of $10 billion in 2014. It is a subsidiary of the German company Hochtief.


Early years[edit]

Henry Chandlee Turner (b. 1871) founded Turner Construction Company in 1902, with $25,000 in start-up capital, at 11 Broadway, in New York City.[1] Turner's first job was a $687 project to build a concrete vault for Thrift Bank in the borough of Brooklyn. In 1903, a Scottish industrialist named Robert Gair, involved with the manufacture of paper products, hired Turner Construction to build a plant in Brooklyn.[1] The facility, finished in 1904, measured 180,000 sq ft (17,000 m2), making it, at the time, the largest reinforced concrete building in the United States. (Turner Construction went on to build large warehouse buildings, including the 1915 Austin, Nichols and Company Warehouse in Brooklyn.) At the same time the company was developing plans for the Gair building, Turner began building staircases for the New York City Subway. The original design showed the stairs were to be made of steel, but Turner thought concrete was a less expensive alternative. After examining public bidding records, Henry Turner undercut competing offers and was awarded the chance to build several staircases in concrete. His alternative worked, leading to contracts for more than 50 staircases and platforms for the Interborough Rapid Transit. The company established branch offices to maintain its expanding geographic scope, beginning with an office in Philadelphia in 1907. The Buffalo office followed in 1908,[1] as did the office in Boston, opened in 1916.[1] When the United States entered World War I, Turner was among the country's most successful builders. In its first 15 years, Turner Construction Company completed $35 million worth of work[1] and constructed buildings for some of the country's largest businesses, including Western Electric, Standard Oil, Kodak, and Colgate.[1]

From World War I to the Great Depression, the company's billings grew from under $12 million to nearly $44 million. Like most industries, construction suffered during the economic collapse and Turner's volume fell to $2.5 million by 1933.[1] The company recovered and revenues increased to $12 million by 1937.[1] The company suspended commercial construction during the war years, focusing instead on construction of military camps, factories, and government buildings. Henry Turner stepped down as president in 1941, to serve as chairman and make room for his brother, Archie Turner, as president. Archie Turner led the company through the war, but poor health limited his tenure. In October 1946, Henry Turner retired as chairman, handing the post to his ailing brother. For his replacement, Archie Turner selected Admiral Ben Moreell, the individual responsible for forming the Seabees. One month after Moreell's appointment, Archie Turner died of a heart attack.[1] Four months later, Moreell resigned, and the void was filled by Henry Turner's son, Henry Chandlee (Chan) Turner Jr.[1]


Under Chan Turner, as a result of numerous high-profile construction projects, the company grew. After surpassing $100 million in revenues in 1951, Turner built the United Nations Secretariat building in New York in 1952[1] and the New York headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank in 1956.[1] During the 1960s, notable projects included the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in the early part of the decade and Madison Square Garden in 1967.[1] The company opened a branch office in Cincinnati in 1954, followed by offices in Los Angeles in 1964, Cleveland and Columbus in 1966, and San Francisco in 1968.[1] In 1969, Turner issued over-the-counter stock.[1] In 1972, the company's stock began trading on the American Stock Exchange. The company added offices in Detroit and Denver in 1973; Pittsburgh and Atlanta in 1976; Seattle in 1977; and Miami and Portland in 1979. Notable projects included the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Hospital in 1974[1] and the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library in 1977,[1] the year Turner eclipsed $1 billion in sales.[1]

Howard Sinclair Turner became president in 1965, and was chairman from 1970 to 1978, when he was succeeded by Walter B. Shaw. Shaw joined the company shortly before the war, served under Admiral Moreell as a Seabee officer in the Pacific, and returned to Turner Construction after the war.

In 1981 Turner Construction acquired Universal Construction, a company founded by Franklin P. Gresham in Huntsville, Alabama.[1]

In 1984, Shaw appointed Herbert Conant as president and The Turner Corporation was formed as a holding company with Turner Construction Company, Turner International Industries and Turner Development Corporation as subsidiaries. In this new guise, the company added to its physical presence, opening an office in Connecticut in 1980; three California offices in 1983, an office in Orlando in 1984, and offices in Phoenix and Nashville in 1986. The company continued to expand by opening a Dallas area branch in 1986,[2] followed by San Jose in 1987, and Kansas City in 1989. The company completed many projects during the 1980s, including the Texas Commerce Tower, United Airlines Terminal 1 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, and Los Angeles' First Interstate World Center.[1]


Turner Construction Company erected several professional sports stadiums during the 1990s. Sports construction was not new to the company: Turner's first sports contract was construction of the promenade at Harvard Stadium in 1910, followed by Pitt Stadium for the University of Pittsburgh in 1925.[1] In 1995, the company completed construction of the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. In 1996, they built Charlotte, North Carolina's Bank of America Stadium, followed by completion of Sports Authority Field at Mile High in 2001.[1]

In August 1999, Hochtief AG of Germany purchased The Turner Corporation for $370 million.[3] By extension, Turner Construction Company gained access to Hochtief's operations in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the heavy construction field. In 2002, Turner Construction expanded its presence in the Washington, D.C. area by acquiring J.A. Jones-Tompkins Builders, Inc., the former subsidiary of J.A. Jones Construction Company. Tompkins Builders, Inc., a new entity, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Turner Construction.[4]


Turner has 46 offices in the U.S., is active in 20 countries around the world, and averages 1,500 projects per year. Turner services include construction management, general contracting, consulting, construction procurement, insurance, and risk management. According to Engineering News-Record's 2014 Top 400 Contractors Sourcebook, Turner is the largest "Green contractor" in the United States[5] and the fourth largest contractor overall in the United States.[6] The firm's sustainable construction work has grown to 50% of its backlog.[7] Turner's green building projects are in wide array of building types including in the education, commercial, healthcare, and aviation segments. Turner has completed 300 projects that have been LEED Certified by the U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC).[7] An additional 300 projects are LEED Registered.[7] Turner City illustrates projects Turner has successfully completed in a given year.[8] It has been produced by the company annually since 1910.[1]

Exterior of Invesco Field at Mile High on November 2004


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Turner News: Centennial edition Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine Turner Construction, 2002
  2. ^ "Dallas | Turner Construction Company". www.turnerconstruction.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-26.
  3. ^ Hochtief agrees to buy Turner for Euros350.1m Business International, 1999
  4. ^ CapNet leaves nest Washington Business Journal, 8 August 2003
  5. ^ "The Top 100 Green Building Contractors". ENR. ENR.
  6. ^ "The Top 400 Contractors" (PDF). ENR. ENR.
  7. ^ a b c Turner's portfolio of green projects reaches all time high Turner Construction, 20 February 2009
  8. ^ "Turner City". www.turnerconstruction.com. Retrieved 2018-04-02.

External links[edit]