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About Boldt

Helping the World Build Boldly Since 1889

A history of BOLDTHINKING®

Since Martin Boldt set up his carpentry shop more than 130 years ago, we’ve shown what’s possible when you approach every challenge with innovation, problem-solving and partnership. That’s what powers a construction company founded in woodworking to become a national leader in markets as diverse as healthcare, industrial, education and renewable energy.

1st Generation

Martin Boldt

Martin Boldt

Founder — 1889-1931

1889
Black and white photo of family in front of home in 1889

Martin Boldt begins a construction legacy

A son of German immigrants, Martin Boldt sets up a carpentry shop in Appleton, Wisconsin. His first ad lays the groundwork for the company’s values today: Martin Boldt – Honest and reliable contractor.

1910s
Black and white photo of 3 men

A Boldt construction legacy built on relationships

Joined by his sons Arthur, Robert and Oscar (“O.J.”), Martin renames the company “Martin Boldt & Sons.” Quickly showing his penchant for inventiveness, O.J. files for his first patent in 1916: a new bowling pin design.

1920s
1920s Martin Boldt & Sons

Roaring growth

For the young company, the 1920s are a tale of two economies. The early decade sees a booming home-building market. And, Martin Boldt & Sons’ reputation helps the company expand its portfolio of small commercial projects, fueling company growth. The stock market crash of 1929 challenges the company to seek out new markets.

2nd Generation

Oscar J Boldt - Portrait

Oscar J. Boldt

CEO — 1931-1950

1930s
Historic photo of wooden building structure

Oscar J. builds the business

Even as the country struggles with the long-term effects of the Great Depression, O.J. takes over the business from his father in 1931, incorporating it as Oscar J. Boldt Construction and continuing to pursue commercial construction work.

1940s
Man in factory for artillery shell boxes

Joining the War Effort

America goes to war and Boldt joins the fight. Abroad, Oscar J. Boldt’s son, Oscar C. Boldt, serves as a navigator, completing 18 combat missions, while back at home the company builds artillery shell boxes—up to 1,000 a day.

3rd Generation

Oscar C Boldt wearing a hard hat

Oscar C. Boldt

CEO — 1950-1998

1950s
Black and white photo of office building under construction

Oscar C. creates an icon

Having learned the construction business at the feet of his father, Oscar C. takes over as CEO in 1950. During his leadership tenure, the company begins taking on larger, more complex commercial, institutional and education construction projects.

1960s
Black and white photo of people at groundbreaking

Building value through service

As the company grows, so does the Boldt reputation as a different kind of contractor. Community involvement, industry-leading profit-sharing and safety programs are hallmarks of Oscar C. Boldt’s leadership and contribute to the company’s steady growth. Boldt secures industrial, healthcare, and pulp and paper projects.

1970s
School building with grounds in the foreground

Boldt Construction proves itself

Under Oscar C., the company begins to establish a regional presence, becoming a powerhouse in industrial, education and healthcare construction. Boldt expands locally as well, opening satellite offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

1980s
Crane lifting heavy machinery

Building for growth

The company experiences steady, sustained growth, expanding its reach with milestone projects in locations as diverse as Saudi Arabia and Memphis, Tennessee. Boldt sees significant growth in pulp and paper projects. Revenue increases from $50 to $300 million over the course of the decade.

4th Generation

Tom Boldt - Portrait

Tom Boldt

CEO — 1998-Present

1990s
Downtown Neenah, Wisconsin, Towers

A national construction leader

In 1998, Oscar C. transitions to chairman and Tom Boldt to CEO, with a continuing focus on the Boldt tradition of building strong relationships. Boldt leverages expertise in pulp and paper to serve the growing power market. The company helps pioneer Lean construction on a national level, expanding its reputation as an industry leader.

2000s
3 Boldt employees at planning wall

Pioneering new approaches

Building on more than a decade of Lean construction expertise, the firm debuts its trademark Integrated Lean Project Delivery® (ILPD) method with great success. The complicated rebuild of Stora Enso’s #64 paper machine conclusively demonstrates the effectiveness of ILPD, opening the door for new applications across markets.

2010s
Sutter Health CPMC Van Ness Hospital building lit at dusk at busy street corner

Cementing a Reputation for Building the Extraordinary

Boldt takes its place as a national healthcare builder and Lean construction expert with the award of its first billion-dollar contract, Sutter Health CPMC’s Van Ness Campus Hospital in San Francisco. Boldt earns a reputation for environmental stewardship, building the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, Wisconsin’s first LEED® Platinum-certified project.

Boldt Today

Two People Walk in Boldt Safety Vests

Employee ownership

Present
Boldt crane working on an educational campus between buildings

BUILDING A BOLD FUTURE

From one man’s carpentry shop to a top-ranked construction leader with a nationwide reach, we’ve come a long way from what Martin Boldt started 130+ years ago. One thing hasn’t changed: Boldt remains an honest, reliable contractor, driven by BOLDTHINKING®. Challenging assumptions, approaching every project with flexibility and imagination and doing what it takes to help our clients and partners build the extraordinary.

Ready for a construction company that builds boldly? Let’s talk.