Woodward Celebrates 100 Years in Business

Imageedit 2 5627871116NEW ORLEANS – Woodward Design+Build will celebrate its 100th year in business on Jan. 2. Founded by architect Carl Ellsworth Woodward in 1923, Woodward is a design-build firm delivering turnkey commercial construction services across the Gulf Coast.

In its early days, the company provided mostly residential architecture and construction services in and around Uptown. Following his service in World War II, Woodward returned to New Orleans and reopened the business under the name Carl E. Woodward Inc. with a focus on commercial and light industrial construction.

1955 saw the arrival of President and CEO Armand ‘Ace’ LeGardeur, Construction Manager John McCaskell and Architect Larry Case. At this time, the firm focused on “innovative, budget-conscious design, construction and pre-engineered metal building solutions” to Coca-Cola, K&B, the Benson Motor Company and other businesses..

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Paul Flower, the firm’s current CEO, joined Woodward in 1970 as a structural engineer. According to his peers, Flower exhibited “great forethought and creative problem-solving along with his trademark work ethic and attention to detail.” His knowledge and responsibilities grew quickly within the company. Over time, he became Woodward’s third chief executive and company owner. Under his direction, Woodward expanded service to Texas and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The company also furthered its vertical integration with the addition of real estate development and divisions dedicated to millwork, structural steel erection and sheet metal fabrication.

In recent decades, the company continued to service many light industrial and manufacturing clients — including Laitram, Elmer’s and Airgas — while also providing design solutions and building services to office, auto-dealership, education, hospitality, and multi-family clients.

As Woodward enters its 100th year, a new generation of leaders maintain the firm’s current services while also incorporating emerging technologies. 

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Through the leadership of current president Ken Flower, Woodward has focused on sustainability, technology, diversity and lean construction practices. The firm has nearly 200 employees.

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