Bulley & Andrews was built over generations with the best workmanship and materials and with high aspirations.
Bulley & Andrews was built over generations with the best workmanship and materials and with high aspirations.
Bulley & Andrews’ first office was located at 115 N. Dearborn. The first record of the City of Chicago issuing a permit to the firm was in December, 1896.
Frederick Bulley, an English stone mason, met Alfred Andrews, an architect, in 1891. Frederick and Alfred realized their professions complemented one another and thus entered into a partnership to form Bulley & Andrews.
Among the many projects Bulley & Andrews completed for Western Electric, the Foundry Building and Armoring Plant were likely the largest. Concrete was hand mixed at the jobsites. Teams of horses were used to pull wagons full of concrete up ramps, which were built on site. The concrete was then poured into place from the tops of those ramps.
This unidentified construction project was in progress when William Howard Taft toured Chicago during the 1909 presidential campaign. Thomas Sleeman, the first of three generations of family to be employed by Bulley & Andrews, is seen standing nearest the ladder. Patriotic bunting, as well as a sign from his alma mater, Yale University, welcomed the new president.
Load testing was a practice used in the early 1900’s to prove a new method of construction. Reinforced concrete was still evolving and load testing confirmed its ability to withstand extreme building stress. Sandbags weighing up to 100 lbs would be piled in a systematic fashion until the ‘test load’ weight was achieved. The sandbags would be left in place for 24 hours and then removed. After another 24 hours, the building would be checked again to see how it “recovered”. After each successful load test, a photograph was usually taken to prove the validity of the new method or material and that the building was “safe and sound”.
Bulley & Andrews constructed the Transportation Building in 1911 on South Dearborn, a growing area of downtown Chicago. Unlike other buildings in the district it was not built to house the functions of the printing industry. Rather, it was intended to serve as offices for small companies, one of the first speculative office buildings constructed. The architect, Fred Prather, designed the 22-story Transportation Building on rock caissons. It is believed that the construction cost was just over $2,000,000 and it took two years to complete.
Women in construction in 1916? Yes! During World War I there was a shortage of carpenters and Bulley & Andrews employed women at the Robertson Farm project near Lynchburg, VA.
An article in Engineering New Record’s March 27, 1930 issue stated that Bulley & Andrews had accomplished building two stories on top of a steel-framed structure that was not originally designed to carry the additional load. “The alterations… involved many interesting problems and necessitated important and difficult structural changes.” Among the combination of means used to provide additional support were brackets to reduce the unbraced 18’ to 28’ length of the columns as well as the splicing of existing columns.
The Riding Club of Chicago was a dream of the wealthy, a place to stable their fine horses and access the bridle paths along the lakeshore. Andrew Rebori designed the elegant equestrian sports area built at McClurg, Ontario and Erie Streets in Chicago. The building, 305 ft. long by 218 ft. wide, became one of the largest riding rings in the world and included an observation hall with seating for 3,000 and stables for 452 horses. The club featured a system of natural ventilation ducts, scientifically proportioned, and a regulator device to meet the varying temperature requirements to assure clean and sanitary stables.
The distinctive Bernard Albert Eckhart Hall was designed by one of the most famous Gothic architects in the United States, Charles Z. Klauder. Built to house The University of Chicago’s Mathematics Department, Bulley & Andrews constructed the hall in 1930.
Laura Rockefeller Memorial Carillon was installed into the belfry at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in 1932. Bulley & Andrews facilitated the installation of the bells with the creation of openings in the stone tower and other structural elements. The carillon’s 18.5 ton brass bell was installed along with 72 others encompassing six octaves. The total weight of the bronze in the tower was over 100 tons.
In late 1941, Bulley & Andrews was commissioned to construct facilities which later would make history. The Atomic Energy Commission’s “Manhattan Project” laboratory, located beneath the west stands of Staff Field at The University of Chicago, was built in total secrecy. Allan E. Bulley, Sr. recalled how they struggled to put up the reactor without any idea what it was and with no one to talk to about it except a voice in Washington on the other end of a secret telephone line. Not until World War II ended did Allan Sr. realize with what they had been involved. It was here that the world’s first man-made self-sustaining chain reaction was completed.
During the 1940’s, Bulley & Andrews constructed many buildings for St. Luke’s Hospital. In 1948, the Morton Clinic was built. This photograph illustrates one method used to place concrete for the building’s foundation.
Al Simmons, a Superintendent for Bulley & Andrews, traveled to the Rock River near Oregon, IL to construct what became known as Sinnissippi Farm, a two-story residence built of Tennessee crab orchard stone, featuring an in-ground swimming pool and several outbuildings. Bulley & Andrews continues its legacy of delivering exceptional service for the high-end residential market.
The 60,000 sq. ft. Ray C. Ingersoll Research Center was a new addition to the Borg-Warner Corporation in 1956. W. Fred Dolke, architect for the project, designed the Des Plaines building with a new streamlined exterior to house the research and development programs of the engineering departments and laboratories. The project totaled over $760,000 at completion.
Bulley & Andrews completed construction of the new office addition to Illinois Tool Works’ Shakeproof Division in Elgin, IL using the Critical Path Method (CPM) of job scheduling. The relatively new methodology proved highly successful allowing the project team to deliver the building to the Owner three weeks ahead of the six-month completion deadline.
Allan E. Bulley, III, “Ally” was born in 1964 and would become the fourth generation to participate in the family enterprise.
Allan E. Bulley, Jr. graduated from Brown University with a degree in civil engineering. Upon completion of his formal education, he entered the building industry and the family business. Allan Jr. succeeded his father as President in 1970. Under Allan’s tutelage the firm continued to nurture existing client relationships and pursued new construction ventures such as health care, municipal and hospitality facilities.
One of the more unconventional projects Bulley & Andrews has tackled is the replacement of the ice rink at the Chicago Stadium in 1971. The existing floor system of the ice rink was removed and a completely new refrigerant piping system was installed at the Chicago Stadium. Concrete was poured in place over the new piping in preparation for the containment system for the ice layer at the Chicago Stadium. Members of Bulley & Andrews field forces who were Blackhawks fans considered the Chicago Stadium project a true labor of love.
Together with The Meyne Company (purchased by Bulley & Andrews in 1991), the firms have completed over 100 projects for McDonald’s Corporation since 1981. Three of these projects were major buildings for the Oak Brook, IL campus. The Corporate Office Building, built in 1988, provides 500,000 sq. ft. of office space. Three underground parking levels support the offices. The project required 4,520 cubic yards of concrete. At the time, it was said to be the largest order delivered to a single job site in one day. During this 10.5 hour Saturday, 95 trucks brought a seemingly endless supply of concrete. It was poured at the rate of seven yards per minute.
In 1988 Paul Hellermann joined Bulley & Andrews assuming the position of President and Chief Operating Officer. His extensive background in multi-million dollar construction combined with his strong leadership skills enabled the firm to develop a more diverse project management team and compete for larger projects. Under Mr. Hellermann’s leadership, Bulley & Andrews’ annual revenue increased from $55 million per year to over $225 million.
A long-standing client of Bulley & Andrews, S&C Electric has experienced continual growth and improvement to their Rogers Park facility on the city’s northside. Frequently praised for being a good corporate neighbor and for their efforts to keep manufacturing jobs in the city, Bulley & Andrews is proud to have completed hundreds of projects for S&C during the course of the last four decades. Our work on the firm’s behalf ranges from new construction and additions to renovations and on-going maintenance.
In 1991 Bulley & Andrews acquired local contractor Gerhardt F. Meyne, a firm known for excellence in the building industry. The two companies shared similar corporate values including a heightened appreciation for repeat client relationships and a commitment to total client satisfaction. The former Gerhardt F. Meyne company became known as The Meyne Company and operated as a division of Bulley & Andrews, LLC until 2009. Among its many positive attributes, the acquisition of The Meyne Company increased Bulley & Andrews’ field forces and self-performing capabilities and provided valuable concrete expertise to the firm’s range of services.
Allan E. Bulley (Ally), III graduated from Yale University and earned a MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. In 1992 he joined the firm and represents the fourth generation of the Bulley family to serve in an executive role with the company.
In 1996, Bulley & Andrews was honored to be awarded the contract for The Northern Trust’s new two-story branch in Winnetka, IL. Designed by OWP&P, the project posed several ‘challenges’ to the project team. Value-engineering, an extremely tight site with the existing bank building two feet from the new building’s entrance and complex interior details were all addressed proactively and work expedited to move the bank to final completion.
During the early to mid 1990’s Bulley & Andrews began to substantially increase its involvement in the senior living market. Most notably, we constructed new and renovated existing space for the Presbyterian Home in Evanston, IL. Major projects included One Arbor Lane, Geneva Place, James King Home, Kimble Fitness Center and Hazel Wright Manor. Bulley & Andrews continues to maintain a presence in this market segment including independent, assisted living and skilled-care facilities.
Attention to detail, self-performance and the ability to work effectively, yet thoughtfully, in occupied spaces has made Bulley & Andrews a leader in the restoration and renovation markets. One such project is the historic restoration of the Chicago Club’s third floor dining room.
Since 2001, DePaul University has been a valued client of Bulley & Andrews. Partnering on numerous projects, B&A has provided services for several of the University’s new buildings including the Academic Link Building, Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Science Building, Arts & Letters Hall, and Art Museum.
Bulley & Andrews entered the masonry restoration business in June 2003. In January 2005, the firm acquired the assets of Felsen Building Services Company and began conducting all of their masonry operations as Bulley & Andrews Masonry Restoration, LLC (BAMR). The transaction is the result of the firm’s desire to build upon their core strengths, most notably client service and technical expertise.
This award-winning 140,000 sq. ft. facility became the precursor to future municipal projects where Bulley & Andrews’ attention to detail, high-level of coordination and solution-oriented mentality helped achieve high expectations while working with tight budgets. Nearly three times the size of its predecessor, the new, state-of-the-art library includes a tech center, art gallery, and public meeting rooms, in addition to traditional library facilities.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center opened its doors on April 19, 2009 and Bulley & Andrews was especially proud to serve as the general contractor. The 65,000 sq. ft. facility is the largest center in the Midwest dedicated to preserving the memories of those lost in the Holocaust and teaching current generations about their role in combating intolerance in today’s world. The museum holds a special place in Bulley & Andrews’ project portfolio as one of the most technically challenging and professionally rewarding projects with which the firm has been involved.
Bulley & Andrews acquired the assets of Takao Nagai Associates, a firm that specialized in concrete restoration and waterproofing, in 2010. Takao Nagai Concrete Restoration, LLC (TNCR) transitioned to become known as Bulley & Andrews Concrete Restoration (BACR) in 2014 and operates as a subsidiary of Bulley & Andrews. With more than 30 years of experience, their project portfolio is extensive including stadiums, parking structures, plazas and vaulted sidewalks.
Since 2008 Bulley & Andrews has worked with the Noble Network of Charter Schools as construction manager to provide new construction and renovation services for numerous campuses throughout Chicago including Auburn Gresham College Prep, Muchin College Prep, Noble Street College Prep and Rowe-Clark College Prep to name a few.
Honored to build a home away from home for families seeking treatment at the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Bulley & Andrews served as general contractor for construction of the new 16-story Ronald McDonald House. Located at 211 E. Grand Avenue, this facility is the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world.
The renovations include a new entry lobby and elevator, bookstore, student commons, cafe, restrooms and office and meeting rooms as well as masonry restoration performed by BAMR.
Bulley & Andrews completed a 63,000 sq. ft. interior renovation to bring Eataly to Chicago. The project was awarded the Chicago Building Congress Merit Award for Best Interior Buildout.
Bulley & Andrews moved the landmark Harriet F. Rees House. At 1,045 tons, the move was one of the heaviest residential buildings ever moved in the United States. The 1888 home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bulley & Andrews completed the historic restoration of the landmark Chicago Athletic Association, creating a new luxury, 241-room boutique hotel. Since completion, the project has been recognized with several awards including the AIA Distinguished Building Award Citation of Merit.
Bulley & Andrews broke ground on a new 39,000 sq. ft. , 4-story headquarters. The new corporate offices are located in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, where the firm has been located since 1952.
In 2018, Tim Puntillo was named president of B&A. During his 25-year career with B&A, Tim has displayed a tireless commitment to the success of the firm, has become a standard bearer of our ideals and is relentless in the pursuit of whatever will take us to the “next level’. Tim’s can-do mentality and problem-solving approach have won him the respect and admiration of all within the B&A family and beyond.
In 2021, Tim’s noteworthy accomplishments and dedication to the firm enabled him to be promoted once more to Chief Operating Officer. Today, Tim oversees daily operations while ensuring alignment with B&A’s short and long-term strategies.
Bulley & Andrews’ new corporate headquarters is a testament to the firm’s continued growth and is an investment in the future. Reaching the milestone of $500M in volume and a record number of people employed in 2020, B&A is poised to continue to improve lives and grow organizations in measurable and meaningful ways.
Bulley & Andrews understands that in order to solve challenges and generate new ideas, we need more than one voice… we need many. That’s why we’ve established a Diversity & Inclusion program. The initiative encourages employees, industry partners and clients to be authentically themselves. Together, we can make advancements that benefit all.
Whereas Bulley & Andrews has largely been considered a “Chicago contractor” for the better part of the last 125+ years, the same cannot be said in 2020. With roots firmly in the midwest, our clients have given us the opportunity to deliver projects across the nation, from the Westin Waterfront plaza restoration in Boston, MA, to the Ritz Carlton renovation in Santa Barbara, CA. B&A’s portfolio now includes projects in more than 20 states and counting.
Honoring B&A’s President Emeritus, Paul Hellermann and colleague Dave Schaver, the firm joins The American Brain Tumor Association in the fight against brain tumors. The organization’s Chicago BT5K race is B&A’s signature philanthropic event. Help us make a difference.
While it may be difficult to imagine life in 1891, for Bulley & Andrews, remembering our history is easy. Through the art of storytelling, carefully preserved archives and a spirit of ingenuity, our team reflects and builds on our 130-year legacy, daily.
In tandem with Bulley & Andrews’ 130th year in business, Executive Chairman, Allan E. Bulley, Jr. celebrates his 65-year anniversary with the company.
Allan joined Bulley & Andrews in 1956 after earning a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Brown University. Although not encouraged by his father, Allan E. Bulley, Sr., Allan Jr. had always endeavored to join the family company and aspired to be as successful as his father. In a school report dated in 1946, Allan wrote, “someday I will likely go into the building business, and if I do, I hope I can live up to my father’s record and be a success at it.” Fortunately for those of us reading this, Allan’s steadfast focus to be a part of Bulley & Andrews paved the way to exponential growth, new challenges and a host of opportunity.