Finding aid for the Austin Company Records and Audiovisual Materials, Series II

Austin Company Records and Audiovisual Materials, Series II
Western Reserve Historical Society
Phone: 216-721-5722
Austin Company
12.51 linear feet (19 containers and 8 oversize items)
The Austin Company, a carpentry and contracting business, was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1878 by Samuel Austin. Austin became known for his quality work, and by 1904 incorporated his business as the Samuel Austin & Son Company. Wilbert J. Austin, Samuel's son, devised "The Austin Method," a unique bundling of engineering, construction, and design services intended to streamline the building process, as well as a model for a "controlled conditions" plant, a major improvement over the hot, stifling factory environment of the day. The Austin Company grew rapidly during World War I and was able to stay solvent following the stock market crash of 1929, mostly due to the firm's major contract to build the Gorky Automobile Plant in Gorky, Russia. Business saw another increase during World War II and again during the post-war years as the company branched out beyond industrial construction to build department stores and retail shopping centers, including the Severance Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Overseas operations flourished in western Europe, Australia, and Argentina. Throughout the 1970's and into the 1990's, the Austin Company faced a decline in business. In 1984, the Company was purchased by the National Gypsum Company. Following National Gypsum's bankruptcy, the Austin Company was purchased by the Kajima USA Group. As of 2017, the Austin Company continued to maintain its headquarters in the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield Heights. The collection consists of acquisition records, Board of Directors minutes, correspondence, stock plans, division reports, business plans and reports, presentations, stock ownership materials, as well as 16mm film, and audio and video tapes documenting various projects, company meetings, and oral history.
MS 5419
closed stacks
The records are in English